Haunted house stories, please share!

Here you'll find a wide range of discussions on old-house topics.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Site Admin
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:14 pm
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by TinaB »

Hey OHW folks,

If you have a good story about an old haunted house please enter the OldHouseWeb's Ghost Stories Blog Contest for a chance to win a $500 Lowe’s gift certificate and/or one of five weekly $100 gift cards.

Details here:

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/blog/ghost-s ... g-contest/
The Old House Web

Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:57 pm
Location: Chicagoland

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by ufonium2 »

Since this thread has been resurrected (a zombie thread for Halloween!):

The first house I owned was haunted. When we moved in, the previous owners (a young family who had only lived there for two years) had cleaned it out completely, except they left an old walking cane 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.

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 near him, 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 vibe I was getting from the house that I didn't even walk through the house to make sure we'd gotten everything. I do know that we left the cane, because we wouldn't touch it the entire time we lived there.

Posts: 892
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:26 am

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by rehabbingisgreen »

OMG I was reading stories here and suddenly something fell over off the table and scared the heck out of me lol. Nothing haunted, just not pushed back far enough.

Once we lived in a rental house and things would go missing and end up back in sight later. Hair brush, pens, things you would use and keep in a certain place or area. Nutty or not I actually used to say outloud ok now put my X back where it goes, not funny any more. It would turn up. One day I was washing my face over the bathroom sink and I yelled at my hubby for touching me and he was clear in the other room. I made my husband ask the guy who bought the house after we moved if he'd experienced anything weird there but he said no.

I sold a house we had owned for only a short time. The new owner was doing remodeling and began telling me how he heard a voice and a door had flung open on it's own. He seemed to be afraid and resold the house. I never felt anything in the house but maybe a sad desolate kind of feeling. LOL I told him to keep it and charge admission but I don't think he found that funny.

This house doesn't really feel like anything except one small old brick room in the basement is creepy. I'm sure it was likely a pantry or something but it just creeps me out for some reason. I've gone to the doorway but because of webs and bugs and such I never have ventured in the room.

Don M
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by Don M »

We have a ghost in our 1830s stone farmhouse. We think it is a German Aunt who lived here with the farm family from 1919 until her death (date unknown). She made her presence known by making a shuffling sound in the second floor hall. We heard her several times shortly after moving into the house in 1999 but we haven't heard her recently. We think she is happy with us and the way we are caring for the home.

On a different subject there is my grandparents summer home in Sackets Harbor, NY. This is a large four story stone former grist mill built right on te shore of Lake Onterio. It was converted to a home at the turn of the 20th century. My grandmother purchased it in the late 1930s and my grandparents occupied it every summer until my grandfather's death in 1960. My step grandmother sold it to a local Watertown lawyer & his family. Some renovations were made & the family lived year round there for several years. Divorce left the lawer living in the house alone & it was reported he became an alcoholic. He had a house keeper but he had one room at the top of the house overlooking the water where the house keeper was not to enter. Apparently the lawer committed suicide in that room & it was some while before this was discovered. The Mill sat empty for a number of years & was bought at one time by someone who planned to operate it as a B&B. Further renovations occurred but the B&B wasn't successful & the house went on the market again. Finally the present owners acquired the house. On the way to closing the realtor confided that the house was apparently haunted by the spirit of the deceased lawyer. That was interesting but the buyers were not disuaded from purchase. After the closing the husband had to return to work in Syracuse but the wife elected to spend the first night in the home by herself. Around 2 AM she was awakend by the security alarm going off. It indicated the kitchen door was ajar. When she investigated the door was securely locked. She reset the alarm & went back to bed. She was awakend again at three & four o'clock by the security alarm which indicated other doors & windows were ajar but when checked were locked. Finally the owner stood in the main great room & said in a loud steady voice, "OK, cut out trying to scare me: we are staying & you can stay or leave but I'm not putting up with your shenanigans any longer." She went back to bed & they have had no further problems with the security alarm or issues with the spirit. Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse

Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:46 am
Location: MidWest Prairie, MN

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by MsFhionn »

My house is haunted by a very helpful and friendly spirit that I've named Pa. I'm uncertain of his gender, but I believe that he is male - hard to say as I've never seen him in full body apparition. I moved from metro St. Paul out to a small town where the western prairie begins in 2001. I bought a 130 year old house from an 120 year absent owner - my seeing it and deciding to pursue buying it at the very same moment the absentee owner called a local Realtor and after a great amount of thought had decided to sell it. It was a Sunday afternoon, 3 O'clock. A coincidence? I don't think so. I'd dreamed of this house for many months and when I caught a glimpse of the side porch while I was coming around the corner I knew I'd found it.

When first entering the house it felt happy. I was careful. Touring the house I walked and stopped and really listened. All clear, negative wise, and so I signed the papers. During that period of my life I was very depressed as a long term relationship was coming apart with lies. The worst of it being that I knew the truth, but I couldn't face it. I was sick. From the moment I moved in I never felt alone, and to be honest, between my dogs, my parent's brief intervention, and the company of Pa, I wouldn't be alive today. Before, during and after the move there were many very lonely months of despair and Pa began to make his presence known early on - I swear, if only to reassure me that I was not alone, and that things would be well again one day.

I should explain where the name Pa came from...Ma and Pa (as they were nicknamed by locals and family), or Llewellyn and Dorothy, were the last generation of the family to have lived here until death. The former owner was their semi-estranged and only child, John.

Most of Pa's visual activity occurs in an upstairs hallway and in what is called 'the woodshed', a falling to pieces, sinking from floods last addition to the house. Three sided and attached as a train car to a former addition, it has a dirt floor and I believe it was at one time an outbuilding on the property. It was and is a workroom of sorts, several of the previous owner's fathers and grandfathers old tools and stuff left there for me. From the first day it has been my favorite space in my new home. I immediately filled it further to the rafters with my own junk and stuff. It was a mess. One day soon after moving in I entered and found my garden shoes and boots all lined up on the steps. The day before I recall thinking I should tidy up the pile of footgear, and probably saying it aloud as I talk to myself far too much too often, and especially so during those dark days. I was gobsmacked, though very pleased to find them straightened and smiled. Pa. I opened my mouth and it just came out. Thank you, Pa. And so our relationship began.

The house had last been decorated and the electrical wiring and plumbing fussed with in the early 1930s, with some small changes of aesthetics in one or two rooms again in the 1970s. These were busy days for me, tearing out the 70s 'improvements' to return it more to it's original interior. It was such a mess here that I once lost a toilet in my living room! Small tools and the like were dropped and forgotten often during the process to my great frustration in trying to find them again when next needed. So often Pa would find them for me, laying them out someplace clean and clear where I would be sure to find them first thing next morning. Certainly not where they'd been carelessly set down by me. Other than being very welcoming in this way, he didn't make any other sort of presence of himself other than my feeling/knowing that he was nearby.

A year on my Parents became concerned about me due to the inevitable big break up and drove here from Colorado to ensure that I was well, both physically and emotionally. As there wasn't a whole lot of brightness to share with them, of course I told them about Pa with the expected, "yeah, right, ha ha, glad to know you're not alone, Dear", in response. My Dad set to work making saw horses for me to help in the restoration work yet ahead. With the original wiring still intact, a fuse was blown as he tried to use my chop saw. It was Sunday, I didn't have a replacement fuse and the few shops here that would have one were closed. So we put aside the project until the next day. My Dad, always the early riser, greeted me with a smile when I came down for coffee. He said with a laugh, "hey, hon, where in the heck did you find those fuses? They're too ancient to use, but I appreciate your digging them out for me as I haven't seen those since I was a kid (1930s)". Pa. That's all I normally say when something unusual happens, or there's a bump in the night. Just, Pa. My Dad paled and at first didn't believe me as he had headed out to the woodshed first thing, and there he found a tidy cache of antique fuse boxes intact with the original fuses sitting right there in the middle of Pa's old work bench in a beautifully cleared spot. Pa wanted to make sure he didn't miss 'em. Dad thought that it had been me who found them. He asked me to come and look as he knows me well enough to catch if I was lying. Nope. I'd never seen them before, though I can easily imagine that they would have been originally stored in the woodshed someplace, then left behind as junk by John when he cleared his late parents belongings from the house. Let's leave it to say that my Dad is now a Pa believer.

As time and work on the house has progressed over the years Pa comes and goes in normally quiet ways, but he's always near. As I mentioned, his other area of activity is in the upstairs hallway. He's frightened a friend or two, and scared the living beejeasus out of two 'boyfriends' who stayed here briefly and mistreated me, bless him. Sometimes for me there is what seems a shock of blinding light, there and gone in a split second up in the hall, or a glimpse of shadow movement when the hair rises on my neck, though quickly settles for me because I know - it's only Pa. What he did to those two boyfriends I'll never really know, but they both mentioned Pa, the hall, and their problem with being up there when they were leaving.The swirling mist at the living room windows is what frightens company the most as at times it's been visible from inside. I ignore it until they mention it - one friend actually screamed. I had to laugh, ok, I was bad 8-). Pa was just having a laugh. There is a photo among my pics that was taken intuitively one day when I was out with the dogs. A snap of them and my intuition turning me towards the window within the same second and a snap taken there. The ectoplasm mist was not visible to the eye that day.

I'll end the story here and save more Pa stories for another day if you are interested in hearing more. For me, Pa is family, it truly feels that way, as though he's always been here and only took me in through kindness. A very old woman in town once told me that "that house found you, and not the other way around. She paused and then said, "I know it did". So it's me and Pa and currently a wonderful man who gets the creeps, but trusts in my knowing that Pa's okay. I feel Pa at his best on days such as the big day when I took up 100 years layerings of sub-floors and coverings, exposing the damp original floor boards below the great room. Over a week's time the floor creaked and sang as it dried and warped back to life. It was breathing again as wood should, the sound and movement compelled me to dance there mornings. I sang and whirled a dervish of renewed health, happiness and long lost peace right along with those boards. In that way I sincerely bonded with my house and sense of place. It became home those mornings, and I know that Pa was very close and dancing alongside of me. It is meant to be happy here, and anyone or anything that endangers this contentment soon finds themself back where they came from. Funny thing....... That's Pa :)
Pa playing
Pa playing
pa at home.jpg (9.95 KiB) Viewed 18625 times
Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by KathyJB »

I like Pa :D Guess I should have posted my findings on the digital recorder here.

Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:26 am
Location: Scandinavia, Wisconsin

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by Mrs._d »

Our house could be called "haunted", but I prefer to call our house "shared by
others". We've had so many unexplained events, that I started a journal 3 years
ago as we began our old house restoration. Each time we begin new
projects--there seems to be a flurrish of activity and also when we have guests
staying over.

We bought our house in April 2007, a 13-room 1893 Queen Anne Victorian, a house
that sat vacant for almost 40 years. The first owner/builder John Olson
Wrolstad had 12 children--they lived in the house for 14 years until his death
at age 69. Eight of his children lived long enough to appear in this family
portrait taken in 1893, and yet only four lived past their 25th birthday.


Most of the "unexplained things" going on in our house--seem to be children's
prank-like events.

From my journal:
May 25,2009
The Chocolate Cake
I made a chocolate cake--Jon's favorite. I put it in the oven and forgot to set
the timer. When I checked on it, I tested the center of the cake to see if it
was done. It needed about 5 more minutes baking time. Nonetheless, testing it
like that left a finger size dimple. When the cake was done, I put it on the
cooling rack and continued with restoration work upstairs.

An hour later I decided to go downstairs and frost the cake. I stood there
looking at that cake in disbelief. In all 4 corners of the cake was a thumb
print, about the depth of the finger size dimple I left when I tested the cake,
but just larger--like a thumb print. For a moment I thought about getting the
camera and photographing the cake. Then I decided this is stupid. I frosted the
cake and continued my chores.

Later on I was still thinking about the cake, and when DH Jon came home I asked
him about it. I said, did you touch the cake? He looked at me like I was nuts
and said, NO--I didn't touch your cake. Then I told him about the thumb prints.
Jon just looked at me like, I don't deal with the ghosts, they are your

Crashes, and Battery Operated Things
Some of events are quiet, and some are loud. We hear crashes often, footsteps
in the hallway dropping ring of keys on the floor, and the sound of children
(light weight feet) running down the hallway and down the stairs--waking us up
in the middle of the night and the same sound repeating again about an hour
later. Here are two events from my journal about battery operated items in our

My journal - March 23, 2009:
Yesterday Jon and I were standing in the upstairs bathroom discussing new
location of the pedestal sink, clawfoot tub, and toilet. Suddenly a big crash in
the east bedroom (adjacent to the new bathroom). It stopped our conversation. We
both smiled, then continued on with the discussion.

Later Jon left to go to the neighbors to repair a hydraulic line on some lift
equipment. I was upstairs hand sanding 3/4" beadboard. I accidently nicked my
finger and went into the downstairs bathroom to get a bandaid. I heard a buzzing
sound coming from the bathroom linen closet. What????????? I opened the closet
door. It was our pedi-paw pet groomer. It was buzzing in a box in the
closet--we hadn't used it for weeks. I removed the buzzing box from the closet,
and with my newly bandaged finger I had quite a time getting the package tongue
flap out of the box, so I could open it.

The pedi-paw pet groomer wand is battery operated (shaped like a flashlight) and
has a big toggle switch (on/off). When I switched it off I noticed it made a
loud click sound. I would say it took about as much finger pressure to click the
toggle switch as it would for a person to snap their fingers. I just stood there
is disbelief and clicked it on, and then off again. I shook it and shook it to
try to make it turn itself on again. Nothing. This is really crazy stuff
happening here. Just enough mischief here and there to let us know our ghosties
plan to share this house with us.

My Journal - June 25, 2009
More ghost activity this morning. The clock by my bed said 5:03a when I got up
and went downstairs to find my nasal spray. I entered the downstairs bathroom
and heard a thunderous buzzing sound. We have a window new air conditoner we
installed this week. My goodness, the only thing running was the new a/c on the
other side of the house upstairs--so what could it be? I went back upstairs to
tell Jon about the loud buzzing sound. He said, maybe it is the hot water heater
in the basement. He went to the basement, but nothing.

We stood in the downstairs bathroom, and Jon said, "it sure sounds like its
coming from the closet." We opened the closet and the sound got louder. I moved
out of the way immediately, and Jon took a look. Next to the metal exhaust pipe
(hidden inside the closet), is a Neutrogena MicroDermabrasion System--it is a
handheld, battery operated facial exfoliator. I bought it a couple of years ago
when we lived at our old house. I used it once--maybe back in 2005 or 2006.

The handheld battery operated exfloliator sits in a plastic molded tray, inside
a box. And, for whatever reason decided to click on all by itself this morning
and was vibrating up against the metal exhaust pipe. This is hilarious. We are
trying just to laugh it off. But I tell you, our ghost sure likes battery
operated things.

Yesterday I painted on the house exterior all day.
While I was working outside I was thinking intensely about our previous owner
John Olson Wrolstad and my recent discovery that he died at home December 13,
1907 at age 69, as noted in a Stevens Point WI newspaper obituary.

Well I could go on and on. There are lots more events like this one. Some a
bit scarier. We just take one day at a time here. Our whole-house restoration
is about 80% complete.
The Wrolstad-Quien House 1893

Mrs. D
"Move forward and do what you have to do"

Posts: 613
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: Greater downtown Dahlgren, VA

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by matchbookhouse »

The first house I ever owned, a small beach cottage, had a "hands-on" spirit. I could sometimes feel "someone" very softly stroking my cheek or my hair at times, although I never saw anything, and I lived alone. However, it was never frightening. I was going through a serious illness for the three years I lived there - maybe the original occupant was trying to comfort me?

I did live in a scary apartment once, though. It was in a large, pre-war building in NW Baltimore, with enormous rooms and long hallways. The kitchen cupboard doors would regularly be opened while I was out of the room, even when I had just checked that they were shut. This happened a LOT, but was more annoying than spooky. The scariest thing that ever happened was when a heavy glass perfume bottle suddenly slid about 6 in. to the edge of a glass shelf, fell, and shattered on the floor. The shelf was undisturbed; not tilting, and nothing else was bothered in that room or the rest of the apartment. i've often wondered if the apartment had a genuine poltergeist. If so, it sure wasn't much like "Pa"!

Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by KathyJB »

Mrs_d :shock: scary and funny.

Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:26 am
Location: Scandinavia, Wisconsin

Re: Haunted house stories, please share!

Post by Mrs._d »


Here' the upstairs hallway in our house. At the end of the 28' long hall is a door to a balcony. There is a key in the balcony door and we keep it locked.

Last winter after a particularly long day of restoration work, I drug my tired body upstairs at 7:30p to get some rest. A couple hours later I woke up and the room was ice cold. I ventured into the hallway and found the balcony door wide open. I closed the door and locked it--it makes a click, click sound as I turn the key and lock it.

I went downstairs to tell Jon about the door being suddenly "unlocked", but he was asleep on the couch and I decided not to wake him. As I climbed up the stairs to go back to bed, towards the top of the stairs I could feel a cold, cold breeze. At the top of the stairs and to my left, again--the balcony door was wide open. I locked the door once more, and uttered some words of frustration to our friendly spirits to cut it out. I went back to bed. This event has not repeated itself since.

The unexplained events going on in this house are numerous, but prank-like. Something children would do to tease a couple of times, then stops after being told to stop.
The Wrolstad-Quien House 1893

Mrs. D
"Move forward and do what you have to do"

Post Reply