These were only personal experiences with no evidence, unfortunately.
Full body apparition was seen who identified himself as Arnold Vaughn. We did find Mr. Vaughn's gravestone. after the fact. He did not provide much information about himself, however, at the request of another investigator, did move a flag at the top of a flag pole. There was wind, but the flag moved in the opposite direction of the wind.
We also made contact with a man who identified himself as "Gassie". Gassie turned out to be the client's great grandfather. He gave a great deal of detail that the client was able to confirm including his hound's name as Sam who had a notched ear, his military service, and that he had a son named George.
Earliest Recollection of Communicating with Ghosts
My first recollection was around the age of six. I saw, what at the time I believed were two Union soldiers. Not yet having learned of the Civil War, my mother in my later years told me she thought it was uncanny how I used the term “Union Soldiers” when speaking of my ghostly encounters. I did not see them every night. But on some nights, I did. They would pass through the hallway of our home, dressed in their uniforms and carrying their muskets. After being afraid of them for many weeks, I finally said “hi”. One did not respond. The other stopped. He raised his index finger to his lips and made a “shhh” sound. That was the last time I remember ever seeing them.
Growing Up Haunted
In the Fall of 1981 things began to get really strange in the home I grew up in. We began feeling that someone or something was watching us. My upstairs room was the worst area for that feeling.
The first incident I remember specifically is hearing what sounded like footsteps coming up the stairs. Mom would think I was coming downstairs and I would think she was coming upstairs. We did not mention this at first. But about the third time it occurred, we talked about it.
I heard the creak on the stairs. It was a normal pace, so I assumed my mother was coming upstairs. I decided to jump out and surprise her. “Hah!” I shouted, but there was no one there. I immediately went downstairs to find her cooking dinner. That is when we talked about the noises in the house.
She believed in ghosts and we began scaring each other by agreeing the house was haunted. It is easy for people living in a house with noises to come to the assumption that they have a haunting occurring. This only leads to some imaginings that every noise is a ghost and every weird occurrence is supernatural. I am sure mom and I did that very thing.
The creaking of the stairs could easily be explained if we had chosen to do so. The furnace at the time was only a central heater in the middle of the downstairs. As it heated up, it would have easily cause expansion of the wood on the stairs and caused the creaking.
If that had been all that had happened, I would look back and laugh. But that was only a very small thing, although happening often, today I believe that at least some of the time, someone or something was walking on the stairs.
Additionally, if you were upstairs you could hear something walking around downstairs and vice versa, if you were downstairs, you could hear walking upstairs. The walking upstairs, at times, was at the level of stomping which actually shook pictures on the walls and caused the downstairs overhead lights to flicker.
Televisions would randomly turn on in the middle of the night. You could be sitting watching tv and the channels would change, even on an older television that had no remote control capability. The dial would literally turn to another station. Radios would do the same, even when they were not plugged in or had batteries. It was usually static on the radios and I wish I had known then what I know now about white noise. The phone would “ping” like it was going to ring. I know this can be an electronic mundane phenomenon, but coupled with everything else, it still makes me wonder. Clocks would get changed to different times as well.
My father laughed everything off and would never admit to anything except for two times that I am aware. On one occasion there was a crashing sound as if everything in the storage closet under the stairs had come pouring out onto the floor. Nothing was out of order however. This occurrence happened in the middle of the night and woke all three of us out of our sleep.
The other occasion my father admitted to was hearing a conversation. He was sleeping in my upstairs room because I had gotten too frightened to sleep there and embarrassingly had started sleeping in my mom’s bed with her. He said if he lifted his head off the pillow, he could not hear any voices. However, when he laid his head on the pillow, he could hear two women talking. He had come downstairs to find mom and me asleep and no television playing. He only admitted to that story once and later said it was all his imagination.
Mom and I also experienced the phenomena of hearing voices. We would hear each other call out our names, even during times when the person “speaking” was not home. I was home alone one day after school. Dad was at work and mom was grocery shopping. I heard the back door open. The screen door had a very distinct sound. She called my name and I came downstairs to help put away the groceries. However, when I got to the kitchen, the backdoor was still locked and her car was not in the driveway. Mom was a smoker, and I could smell fresh cigarette smoke. However, mom was not there.
The cigarette smoke smell would happen at times. While my parents smoked, there is a difference between the stale cigarette smoke in a home and someone smoking beside you. When you are alone in your room and can see a puff of smoke and smell the cigarette burning as if the person were sitting beside you, that is unnerving. The smell of other things burning wafted through the house from time to time as well. There were many times my father would search through the house looking for something burning and one night we were ready to call the fire department because we were sure the house was on fire. My mother would say a prayer and the smoke smell would immediately stop. I do not mean that it dissipated; I mean it was gone completely.
We would hear music similar to the early 1900’s calliope music often. It was faint, but clearly audible. Other visitors to our home stated they heard it as well. There were times it sounded like a church choir singing as if our house was beside of an old time church without good insulation.
Doors would open on their own. We would come home to all the kitchen cabinet doors, drawers, and closet doors open. Nothing else would be amiss.
It is said by many paranormal experts that animals are more sensitive to ghosts than humans are. We had several pets who would sit at the bottom of the stars and stare and/or bark at something they could see or sense that we could not. None of our pets ever went upstairs.
Shadows were a normal occurrence. Human sized dark shapes were normal to see out of the corner of your eye walking through the hallway from the under-stair closet to the bathroom. Those occurrences became so frequent, we stopped bothering to even mention seeing something.
There were some funny occurrences as well. One night my dad was working midnights and I was again sleeping in mom’s bed. There was a huge bang upstairs, then stomping, then it sounded like someone was moving furniture. Mom and I of course got up to investigate. Mom was creeping through the unlit living room and did not realize I was behind her. To me the sounds seemed human and in my adolescent brain I had decided someone had broken into the house. I grabbed a weapon – which happened to be a glass Coke bottle. Mom got to the bottom of the stairs and peered up into the darkness. Then she took a step back and turned around only to find me with the Coke bottle raised, poised to bash in the intruders brain. I think I frightened her more than the crashing sound we had heard only moment before. We laughed about that incident for many years.
Laughter was something we used a great deal to combat what could have been fear. We would watch the scariest movies to prove we were not afraid. It was just ghosts.
The most aggravating thing that occurred was the disappearance of random objects from jewelry to money to my homework. Try explaining that to your teacher. “A ghost stole it” is not even as believable as “the dog ate it”.
When things began happening, mom had contacted the previous owner who swore nothing like that had ever happened to him. However, there is an interesting twist to that. Years after I had moved out of the house, my mom and dad were having some remodeling done. In that remodeling, the contractors removed a section of wall. Down inside the wall, where there were no openings of any shape or size, nor anything that looked like the wall had ever been patched or repaired, was the previous owner’s wallet and some pictures that were even older that apparently did not belong to him. The wallet still contained money. Mom again called him, much to his dismay and delight. He admitted that his wallet had gone missing, but he had assumed that he lost it somewhere. He was at a loss for words when mom explained it had been found inside the wall. When he picked the wallet up from my parents, he looked at the pictures. While it was his wallet, he did not recognize them or anyone in the pictures. The name on the back of one of the pictures was the name of the person he had bought the house from.
Due to all the knocks and bangs and noises, my father installed outdoor motion sensor lighting. This only added to the weird things list of occurrences. The lights would come on at random times. They were positioned so that it would have to be someone walking up to them, not just an animal triggering them. While sometimes it could have been a bird or bat, or possible even a large dog (of which there were none in the neighborhood), the consistency of the time they came on was the real kicker. 2:22 am every morning.
We were not the only people who experienced things in the house. If that were the case, again I could potentially write some of it off as imaginings.
One time, Mom and my Aunt were in the kitchen playing Scrabble. I was upstairs doing homework. We heard a crash in the living room. It was loud and audible. It sounded like glass breaking (sort of like if a china cabinet full of dishes had fallen over). Of course when we got into the living room, there was nothing there. Mom and my aunt ran into the living room and I bolted down the stairs.
My cousin stayed with us for a few weeks and one day she packed up and left abruptly without any reason for doing so. My mom finally got her to talk about it. She was sitting upstairs on her bed reading and the closet door opened by itself. These doors were old fashioned and made an audible click when they latched shut or were opened. The door was not ajar, it was closed. She was adamant about that fact. She had issues with a closet door being ajar according to what mom relayed to me. She told my mom she heard the audible click of the door unlatching and then it swung open. She did not see or hear anything else, but she no longer felt comfortable staying there.
Another cousin had moved to WV from out of state and was staying with us for a short time. He was coming down from upstairs and the next thing we knew, we heard a horrible crash as he tumbled to the bottom of the stairs. Luckily the fall had only been from the bottom few stairs and other than being a little bruised, he was quite fine. He told us that it felt as though something had pulled his foot. To ask him about this today, I’m not sure he would admit this feeling or not. But at the time, he was very shaken up about it.
There were times you would “feel” something close and actually feel breath on your face. Being touched in the head, the back or the arm was very common.
Date night at my house watching a movie with whomever I was dating at the time was interesting to say the least. On one occasion, my boyfriend and I were sitting watching a movie with the lights off. He jerked his arm away from me suddenly and accused me of pinching him. His skin was red where he had felt the pinch. Needless to say we did not ever had another date night after that. He did not believe in ghosts.
Blankets on the bed would be pull up or down during the night. You would feel a tug, then the blanket would be literally ripped off the bed. Pictures would be turned face down on tables or fly off walls.
On one occasion when my own daughter was small, mom had a crystal bell that she kept on the top of a desk. My daughter was three at the time and mom watched the bell float through the air and land in front of her. She said she did not have any idea how the bell did not break with the intensity of how fast it occurred. I guess “float” should be “flew”.
On another occasion, another boyfriend and I were sitting watching the stars in a swing in the back yard. He saw a figure walking through the yard and into a storage building on the property.
That building was another interesting item of note. On the property was the house, there was an old well. The well was no longer in use and had a heavy steel slab over the top to make it safe. On top of that was a cinder block to ensure no neighborhood children could somehow pry off the steel slab and harm themselves. There were times you could hear knocking on the bottom of the steel slab as if someone were inside the well. There could be a mundane explanation for that, but I do not know what it would be. Nothing that would satisfy my mind or change my opinion of ghost activity.
The last “other person” story I want to relay is probably the most compelling. So far most everything could be mundanely explained, albeit some of the tales you would have to stretch to find a good explanation.
We hosted missionaries that were visiting our church. The couple had two small children who camped out on the living room floor. The next morning, after what we though had been an uneventful night, the son asked his father “What did you need last night, daddy?” The father, perplexed, asked what he meant. The boy told us that a man, he thought was his father, bent over him and shook him awake in the middle of the night but would not say anything to him. He said he then watched the man get up and go into the bathroom but did not turn on any lights. The wife then admitted that she was sensitive to spirits although she did not like to talk about it because she did not feel it was right based on her faith. She said the house felt off. She said it felt like a happy home, but that there was something there in the house. And it wanted to harm us.
The night before had been fun and full of laughter. We had all agreed to stay in touch. The missionaries left after breakfast. We never heard from them again. The last thing they said to us was “We’ll pray for your deliverance.”
Mom had come home from the grocery store one day. She had walked into the house to find that the tomatoes she had previously set in the window sill to finish ripening splattered all over her kitchen. She tried to rationalize it as a neighbor who was borderline psychotic had broken into her house to steal money. Upon finding none, she vandalized the kitchen. I could tell from mom’s voice this was only a story she was trying to convince herself.
After I moved away, the occurrences stopped completely.
The Crashing Bed
One night, James and I were spending the night at a friend's house. I woke up and this woman was standing at the end of the bed. I told her she needed to cross over and go to Heaven, and she got really mad. The mattresses on the bed fell through the rails to the floor. It didn't break the slat, or twist the bed frame. Our friends heard the noise and came into the room. We sat up and talked a bit in the living room. I saw the woman's face again, but it was outside of the window. I told her to leave. This was about 3 am. The phone rang immediately. I picked it up, and an old woman's voice said my name in a raspy voice. Then the line went dead.
We were called to Indiana to clean up a mess that an unnamed TV ghost group had left a home in a pretty bad state following their investigation. While we did get the matter fixed, a funny thing happened. My husband, who isn't afraid of anything, had a bit of a shock. We were in the upstairs landing area. The owner of the house had removed all of the doors on the bedrooms and had them stacked against the wall. One of the doors lifted up and banged against the other doors. I've never seen James jump that high before. But case solved and house cleared.