A to Z 2013 : HAUNTINGS

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

If there's one thing that can suck up a chunk of my time it's my passion for researching paranormal activity and/or unsolved murders. These obsessive studies come in waves, but once something has struck my interest I become very consumed. I can spend many endless nights attempting to garnish whatever information I can from an incident. From Wikipedia, to articles, to documentaries, to discussions/debates on said topics.

There are many unsolved murder cases that intrigue me; Jack the Ripper, Black Dhalia, and even missing persons cases like Jacob Wetterling. As for hauntings, well there are far too many to list. If I actually had cable and watched TV from home, I’d likely be watching a constant stream of paranormal shows/documentaries. I love almost all of them, though there are some exceptions.

One exception is a show (not even going to respect it enough to look up the title), where the “investigators” look like bodybuilder juicers that are screaming and “challenging” the spirits to come at them. When I would see previews for upcoming episodes, while watching another paranormal series, they would irritate the hell out of me. I couldn’t help but ridicule it to anyone that happened to be around during the time of the viewing.

I just see a scenario in my head with one of these guys yelling: “Come at me, bro! You mad, bro?” I would love to see one of them get served by a supernaturally-charged can of Whoop-Ass. I’d imagine the entity saying: “Da fuck? Oh hell no, I was king of these stomping grounds long before your granddaddy’s granddaddy even knew how to use his penis beyond a fist pump!”

Unfortunately, any actual interaction these guys claim to encounter I blow off as fake. I find it ridiculous, and makes it hard for me to sit and enjoy the program. There are a handful of series about the supernatural that seem to have spawned for nothing more than hack entertainment to garnish the all-mighty dollar. I will admit, though, even some of these are fun to watch.

A Happy Home
I'd buy that for a dollar! Or 80k of them!

One of my favorite haunting tales is The Amityville Horror. Chances are you’ve heard of this story, as there are many books and movies showcasing the events. I think only the first movies of any series were attempting to portray some of the actual occurrences experienced by the Lutz family; the rest just additional cash cowage. I’ve never fully researched this, though. Maybe all the movies are sprinkled with varying “true” accounts.

The story is about the Lutz family and their newly purchased home in New York; A neighborhood dubbed Amityville. The family — a husband, wife, and their three children — struck one hell of a bargain when coming across this house. For what they were getting, the price tag must have seemed too good to be true. In the end, it likely was, since they only lasted some twenty-eight days there.

Once moving in, the family began to be plagued by countless supernatural phenomena. From standard doors slamming, music playing, and property damage to green ooze, secret rooms, and nightmares. These nightmares supposedly played out the DeFeo Murders that had taken place in the house just thirteen months before the Lutz family bought it.

These murders consisted of Ronald DeFeo, Jr killing six members of his family. Check out some of the details in the link, the murders themselves seem shrouded in mystery (though, I'm expecting those familiar with Amityville know of this account). These murders are the basis of which the supernatural occurrences are blamed. The Lutz family had paranormal investigators come out to their property, as well as priests for blessings.

Eventually the family moved from the property, leaving behind their belongings. There are rumors that incidents followed along with them for a period of time before eventually stopping. The events that transpired eventually lead to books, movies, and other commercial endeavors being made. There are many criticisms about the Amityville House/Horror events, but remaining members of the family hold to them as being accurate/true.

The kicker to me is that the family was told about the previous murders in the house. I don’t care how much of a bargain the price tag given on a house is, if a place has a history like that I am saying Hell-to-the-No! An ex of mine expressed a strong desire to own a house with a barn-like front. I guess from my researching here they are called Dutch Colonials? Every time I see a house of this style I can’t help but think of this haunting. Thanks, but no thanks.

These are some trailers of upcoming movies that got me to thinking about this case:

My Amityville Horror:

The Conjuring:

 

Let Me Tell You a Story

Those trailers and talking to a friend about her and a friend’s paranormal encounters inspired me to make this entry about hauntings. I didn’t expect to talk so much about the Amityville House, and honestly I cut it down a ton. I’d like to describe some of the going-ons my family and I experienced while living in the town of Stanchfield, MN.
Even back in the day I was elusive to the camera.

I lived in this house for most of my childhood; from third grade through graduation. I am absent in the picture for some reason, but my brothers; aunt; uncle; and some others are in it. The house was previously owned by the Bieses (spelling uncertain after so long). They eventually bought a larger property just down the road from this previous location.

In the picture you can see the indent, where the door is located. That whole section from there to the balcony was all added on by the previous owners. I believe our doorway leading from one of the living rooms to the kitchen was where the original doorway to the house was. They added a lot to the house. During these additions, supposedly the Bieses experienced some lesser paranormal activity. Things such as doors/cabinets opening, closing, and locking. Furniture and/or belongings being moved/shifted.

I think about the Lutz, and can’t help but think my mother and (ex?) step-father were likely told these things before moving in. Maybe it was one heck of a deal? Perhaps money points make all the difference. Anyway, some history of the house (trying to recollect from memory and mind you never confirming anything - so all hearsay/rumor, but adds to the flavor I guess): a murder, a suicide, and a funeral and/or wake service held inside the house for a baby (which I guess was common practice sometimes back in the day?). I have no idea; just know it involved the dead within the house.

I wish I had a picture of the gnarled, horrific creation of a tree existing just outside the front porch. It always creeped me out, and supposedly that is where the suicide occurred. This didn’t stop me from climbing and playing on the damn thing. Kids can be so fucken stupid.

Anyway, a handful of us experienced some activity in the house, and I remember specifically telling my mother I felt that the house, or something associated with it, was evil/negative. This was in the midst of a lot of family strife mainly existing between our mother and ex step-father and us children and ex step-father. I won’t go into much detail about that here. I just blamed the house for a lot of those incidents.

One of my younger brothers — the one just below me — has had many experiences. He has seen a white outline of a person against the wall (during a period of leaving his room in pitch blackness), which oddity was heightened when our cat would go over to the specific spot to investigate the next day. He also would see a young woman out in the hallway wearing an old-fashioned yellow dress.

He believed that the spirit(s) he was associating with were benevolent (unlike my thoughts of the house). He claimed one — he believes was the spirit of an older woman, the one outlined in white light on the wall — would pat him on the head when he was going to sleep sometimes. I believe also this entity would sit on the mattress. I’d have to reconfirm that last part.

This is the spirit he “invited” to come with him when he moved momentarily into my apartment years ago. When he finally told me this (long since after having moved out) I got upset, because during that period I had the odd feeling of being watched fairly often. I don’t care if supposedly benevolent, I wanted no attachment to that house after finally leaving.

Another of our brothers awoke in the living room, in the middle of the night, to the static, white noise of the TV. When he was about to get up to turn it off, he noticed a shadow (darker than the night outside) standing just outside the bay window. The shadow then moved across the length of the bay window and out of sight. He was too paralyzed to move and stayed in the chair the entire night.

So my own personal experiences? There are only two events that I was “witness” to, aside from the pervasive intuitive feeling of negativity.

Who’s Your Daddy?

To give a basic idea of the house’s layout, when you entered that door in the picture there is a short hall leading to the kitchen. The entryway to the left (leading to the first living room) is the doorway I described as being the original door to enter the house before additions. Directly to the left of entering the first living room was a corner staircase to the second floor. All bedrooms were upstairs. Once reach the top of the landing you could only go right. Straight ahead from there was the two bedrooms my brothers and I occupied.

If you were to wrap around the railing there was a hall leading down to the bathroom and newly added master bedroom.

One day my brother (the one claiming all the benevolence of these freaky deaky spirits) and I were playing with Legos in our bedroom. We usually listened to cassette tapes or the radio as we played, but that day we weren’t. We were home alone — at this point in time I can’t recollect if our mother was working or just running errands; my brother would remember I bet — and enjoying a lovely non-sibling rivalry moment.

All of a sudden there was a kid shouting “Daddy!?” at the top of the landing straight across from where our bedroom was. Our door was open and we were both playing in sight of the landing. I will admit neither of us bothered to look at first. The initial scream scared the shit out of us and we threw blankets over ourselves almost instantly. Then the call for daddy came from what sounded like the kitchen. Soon after, another from what sounded like out in the field (we owned a bit of land). No door slam, no footsteps, and to get out into the field in between the timing of the shouts impossible.

We both eventually got out from under the covers and ran down to the master bedroom to look out the window which overlooked the field. Nothing, of course. In my panicked adrenaline bound craze I thought I saw the reflection of a kid in the window, screamed, and we both hid under my mother's covers a moment.

We couldn't tell if it was the shouts of a little girl or boy, but there was no questioning who they were looking for. So this is where I eventually thought maybe it was the spirit of someone who had passed away in the house. I’d only known of a baby (supposedly) and so that didn’t make sense as ghosts don’t age. Perhaps it was a young child? Or, in addition to the baby, there had eventually been a child passing there.

My brother and I never found out, as these are how these things usually play out. The next occurrence involved multiple people. It’s funny how much more reasonable things sound when you know you didn’t experience them alone.

The Guardians

On this given evening, the majority of my family and my mother’s friend were sitting in the first living room. I can’t recall the conversations, and one of the biggest memory gaps (unfortunately) being whether or not it was storming. I think my mother recalls there being a storm, but I definitely do not. In fact, the lack of the storm is what made this stand out so much to me.

Our house was older, as I’m sure was the wiring, so random little pocket flutters of lights dimming wasn’t uncommon. They weren’t overly frequent, however, either. This night we were gathered in the living room we had a flicker of the lights, but no one thought anything of it. I think having the flickering lights is what makes my mom think there was a storm, maybe?

After a while there was a static feeling in the air and the lights flickered a lot, to where I thought we were actually going to lose power. I can’t fully describe how the air "felt," or the exact feeling I had overcome me. I’ve already explained how I sensed negativity surrounding the house in general.

With this flicker/outage of the electricity, though, the dogs suddenly bolted up and began barking. Not only that, but they raced to the hallway leading to the front door. The dogs weren’t alone either. At the same time as the power fluxed and the dogs riled up our cats did the same. They didn’t meow or hiss, but they became... involved.

One of the creepiest moments for me was when I passed through the entryway to the kitchen, and turned to the right to look down the hall towards the front door. I wish I could say I saw some sort of glowing demon eyes (okay, no I freakin’ don’t) or some apparition, but this impacted me just as much.

Our two dogs — one a Saint Bernard — were silently sitting side-by-side staring at the front door. Just behind them, one behind each dog, our cats were side-by-side doing the same. They were just sitting there; all four of them. We are talking pets that didn’t get along with their own feline/canine brethren, let alone crosswise. Yet, there they all were lined up and side-by-side.

With the pervasive feeling combined with that incident, I can’t help but think they were guarding us from something. Something evil. As though nothing else mattered, all “differences” set aside as they joined forces for one common goal: Protect.

So that is the freakiest moment I had in the house, regardless of screaming ghost children and all.

Sorry, this was such a long post! I will try to make them shorter soon (but I and J are likely to be lengthy, as well). Hope you’ve enjoyed these tales of hauntings that my family and I have encountered. There are more, but these are the most prominent with myself and that house. Screw that place. My ex step-father still lives there, but is a skeptic and doesn’t believe in ghosts; our experiences discarded. I wonder if he's encountered any phenomena over the years. If he has, he likely wouldn’t admit it.

In closing, I have to be honest, as much as I want to see a ghost I don’t think I would be able to handle it. I‘m fine being limited to the experiences I’ve had with no direct confrontation!

Do you believe in the supernatural? If so, any personal experiences? Have any favorite haunting lore/stories?  Do you believe animals can sense the presence of ghosts and supernatural phenomena?