Friday, October 19, 2012

The haunting...part 1

I like a good ghost story. Now don’t take the wrong way, I really hate scary movies, but a real life haunting is something I can deal with.

I believe in ghosts. I believe in angels, demons, Satan and God our Father. And I believe that there are spirits, souls that are lost in the translation that is death.

Here in our Eastern Iowa area, there are lots of good stories. I spent many a fall night during my stint getting a horticulture degree(and yes now I’m an accountant), roaming the cemeteries, bridges, and houses with a dedicated group of fellow students and one very fun instructor.

So how about I start at home for the first installment?

As you know, I grew up on two different farms in Iowa. The first one was dozed about 15 or 20 years ago when my family’s farm was bought out to put in the bypass. Nothing spooky there. My great uncle had built the house, we lived in it when he moved in town, then we moved to the farm about 3 miles away and my aunt and uncle moved in till they built their new house on the hill. Nothing weird went on other than the newfie that jumped out of the 2nd story window a couple of times.

The 2nd farm house we lived in was, well, haunted. The house’s original section was dated to 1875(I think). For those in the know, that would be the front parlor and den on the first floor, my bedroom and Adam’s room as well as the fruit cellar in the basement. The 2nd addition, to the best of our knowledge was the new stair case to the 2nd floor and the piano room. In the basement, that’s where the cast iron, HUGE coal burning fire breathing monster sat. Last addition was the living room, kitchen, mom and dad’s room upstairs, the upstairs bathroom, attic room and the back stair case.

Our digging into the history of the house is that it was an original stop on the stagecoach route that went from Cedar Rapids to Dubuque. Then it became a working farm. That’s when things went a little off.

Back story #1 We moved in when the last owner went into the nursing home. Dad and my uncle had farmed his property for years and were asked to be his guardians-he had no children, only two nieces who lived out of state. Mom and Dad went over to see what was need to be done to get the house ready for us to move in. That’s another story for another day, but needless to say, Albert was a bachelor who lived with his mother who had died 30 years prior. Heat shut off to the upstairs, when a rug wore out, you just placed a new one on top of it and stacks and stacks of newspapers. So we went about cleaning the house.

Ghost story #1-the kitchen. Remembering that the house only had a bachelor living there, nothing really changed in 30 years, including the layer of dust in the cabinets, the wallpaper, etc. Mom is up on a ladder cleaning the one set of kitchen cabinets(pretty bead board that also served as a wall between the kitchen and living room). My brother is recovering from getting his tonsils out, so he’s hanging in the bean bag chair, slurping kool aid and watching TV on a small b/w that we brought over from the other house. He’s not in the room with her. But she swears that he is, turns around and no one. You know that feeling when someone is staring, er, drilling holes in your back? She said she shrugged her shoulders, went back to cleaning. Once again, that feeling of someone standing right behind her, nothing. Now Mom is not one to be rattled, but she kind of got a cold shiver, returned to her cleaning one more time and this next time, the air got cold in the room, that feeling came back even stronger and she whipped around and said, “I’m sorry to be messing up your house. All I’m doing is cleaning so that we can move in. Now leave me alone” Instantly, gone. A little warmth came back in the room, the air wasn’t stuffy and she knew that she was once again alone in the house.

Back story #2 Rumors float all over the place about what really went on in that house. Dad went mad and shot himself upstairs in the master bedroom. Or Mom came home one night and found that one of the brother’s had hung himself in the basement(how when the basement had such low ceilings?) Mom went crazy and died in her sleep in her rocking chair. Etc etc etc.

Ghost Story #2-Hubby gets in on this one. I’ve always felt a cold spot in the upstairs hallway and you ran through that little port in the house as fast as you could. Once you got to say the bedroom door and turned around, you were fine. So Hubby is in the house alone. One of his days’ off that he’s out messing with the horses or whatever-you know how he is.  So he gets a drink, makes a sandwich and sits down to either read the paper or watch the noon news. Upstairs he hears boots walking across the floor, from the hall across Mom and Dad’s bedroom, shuts a door. He yells—Hey Laura, I’m down here eating lunch, want anything? No response. Hum, maybe it was the wind? So he settles back down and the footsteps start again, this time from the bathroom area, through the bedroom to the hall way. He gets up, announces his presence again and then hits the bottom of the stairs to look up to where the footsteps should have stopped with the person making them. Nothing. He goes up stairs, hits that little cold area and nothing.

If I remember rightly, he walked back downstairs, grabbed his cup, sandwich, walked out the back door and didn’t go back inside until Mom was home from work .

Next….the rocking chair, the fire and the silver bowls.

Later gators...

1 comment:

Melinda Wichmann said...

I love a good ghost story, too. Keep writing!!!