Clare (not her real name) grew up in a stone house that used to be an inn along an old stagecoach route. So the ghosts she lived with while growing up were just part of her family’s history.
“My mother always talked about seeing the ghosts of a little boy with his governess or nanny,” Clare said, “Then she’d look again and they’d be gone.”
Clare has also had ghostly experiences herself. Especially with the steps that went up to the unfinished second floor.
“I distinctly remember hearing something going up and down the steps,” she said, “Then the footsteps would go on beyond the trap door my father had built to close off the West Wing.”
Clare also related that as a child she would sit on the stairs next to the trapdoor and put her ear against the plywood in order to hear all of the voices on the other side.
Not all of her experiences happened when she was a child. After her father’s death, Clare decided to rent the old house while she lived out of town. One day she was showing the house to a woman who was interested in renting it. She was in the basement of the house with her dog and the potential renter.
As they toured the basement, she was telling the woman a story about the house.
“As a child we had a dog,” Clare had told the woman, “When I was a kid she would bristle and growl for no apparent reason. A chill would pass through the house and our dog would start to growl and her hackles would raise – she would freak out.”
Clare had just gotten the words out when her current dog started to bristle and growl at something in the corner of the basement. Suddenly the dog turned and ran up the stairs.
Clare said that she wasn’t going to wait around to see what frightened the dog and she was up the stairs like a bolt of lightning. When she turned to look back, the woman was right behind her. Not surprisingly, the woman decided not to rent the house.
Clare has also had some comforting ghostly moments in the house.
After her mother died, Clare and her sister took turns cleaning and doing laundry for their dad. Her mother had a collection of music boxes that were still up in the bedroom. One day as Clare was dusting, all of the music boxes started to play. They all played three or four notes and then stopped.
“It wasn’t scary,” Clare said, “It was like mom telling me that everything was okay.”
Clare said that she hasn’t heard or felt anything for a long time.
She thinks that it might have something to do with the Mountain Ash her father planted before he passed away. According to folklore, Mountain Ash keeps spirits away. However, when Clare related this story, she mentioned that the tree was dying and she was going to have to have it removed, so things might get a little “spirited” in the near future.
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