Where to begin? How about at the beginning?
We moved into a house when I was about 3 years old. My brother was 6 at the time and my parents were looking to get a bigger place than what we had. It wasn’t far away from where we were living at the time, and, in fact, it was a close friend of the family who was selling the place. After a couple of beers, my father actually bought the place on a handshake deal and they got the bank stuff done later. We moved out when I was 13 and my parents never came out and said anything about what happened in those ten years. When I was about 20 years old, my mother finally told us that the woman who owned the house before my parents bought it had hung herself in a bedroom on the second floor. Growing up, the story was that she died in her sleep. Guess she didn’t want us being scared by any stories, just the stuff that happened there.
The neighborhood is a great one; a place I wouldn’t mind raising a family. It’s off the main strip in Lancaster, NY and has no through-traffic. The ‘block’ was shaped like a “P” and on the opposite end of the main drag runs Cayuga Creek. Quiet, peaceful… like I said, I’d pick up a house there in a second. Probably not the one I grew up in, though. It was a three-bedroom house with a half-finished basement. All the bedrooms were on the second floor with a large living room and dining room on the first. Not a huge place, but not too small, either.
I shared a room with my brother for about 7 years and we had plenty of fun getting into trouble and all that, but we also didn’t push the envelope with my parents. We had an interest in the paranormal, mine probably a little more than just an interest, and many things we saw or heard were blamed on the fact that I happened to be reading something about ghosts.
My first recollection is about the time I was six or so. We would often wake up in the middle of the night to hear footsteps coming from the basement. At first my father told us it was just the furnace, and we bought that logical answer. Until the next night. I can still remember hearing the “Boom!” of the furnace kicking in, and then the padding of footsteps coming up the basement stairs and then on the set from the first floor to the second. It was always soft, but loud enough to know they weren’t sounds from the furnace. They would come down the hallway (a straight shot from the stairs ending in a cluster of three bedrooms) and stop at our bedroom door. When I was 10, I moved into the room across the hall and the sounds stopped.
One night a friend of mine, let’s call him J., was going to stay over night and we were going to sleep on the front porch. Why? We were dorks. (This was the early 80s, man, give me a break!) My brother and J’s older brother were camping out in the back yard in a pup tent.
Around 3:30 am, my moms came out and dragged us into the living room. We were sleeping through a thunderstorm and didn’t realize we were getting soaked. Still groggy from sleeping we plopped onto the floor and dozed off again. At 4:15 am, and I’ll never forget the time as long as I live, I felt something was wrong. I was facing our fireplace that sat at one end of the living room and I could see a white figure reflected in the glass. It was behind us at the far end of the room. I noticed that it seemed to be falling and trying to catch its balance on the TV, a chair, and the large sofa we had. I punched J. to wake him up but it was nothing doing. I closed my eyes and fell back asleep. I was just a bit scared.
Later that morning, after my pops went to work at about 5:30, J. woke up and says he heard muffled musical notes. Not too loud, but enough to get his attention. When he woke me up to hear it, the sounds had stopped. I immediately thought it was my brother screwing around, but we soon found out that he and J’s brother had slept in the basement after the tent they were in was being pelted with rocks at about 2:30 am, right before the storm hit.
My brother had a trumpet and J said the musical notes sounded like a horn so we bolted upstairs to check things out. In our room, the trumpet that had been in its case and stashed in the closet the day before was now standing upright in the middle of the floor. The case was opened and standing on it’s end in the closet. We didn’t tell anyone about what we had heard and saw.
About a year and a half later, J was spending the night once again but this time we were sleeping in my bedroom. Our heads were together near the door of the room with J lying parallel to the bunk bed set up that split the room down the middle. I was at the foot of the beds.
Sometime in the night, J woke up and saw a dark figure standing over him. He could only make out part of the head but said that he could see its head lolling to one side and that it had messy hair. He closed his eyes and went back to sleep thinking it was a dream. When he woke up in the light of the morning he yelled to me. He was still in his sleeping bag, but on the other side of the bed. The bottom bunk was only about 6 inches off the floor so there was no way he could have slid underneath it to end up on the other side by his own volition. Let me take a moment and explain to you that J and his family are one of the most religious families I know; they were the family that got mine back to attending church and are still our friends to this day. J was a little more than freaked out, to say the very least.
As time wore on, I found that some of my friends didn’t really like my house. It gave them the creeps. My brother and I never felt threatened, and my parents certainly never said anything happened to them.
When I was in fifth grade a schoolmate came over on Easter break, I’ll call him S. My parents and brother went to visit my grandmother in a nearby town and the two of us went to the creek to goof off and grab a smoke.
It started to get nasty out; rain/sleet ruined the idea of hanging around outside. We came back to my house and were just BS’ing about girls and stuff. We actually had my tape recorder rolling while we were talking. At one point, S said, “Hey, I think you’re parents are home.” I hadn’t heard anything and disagreed. We kept talking and again he interrupted with, “Seriously, your mom is calling you.” I went to the stairs and called down to see if anyone was there. Nothing.
S was starting to get weirded out but I told him not to worry about it, he was probably just hearing something from outside. Then I heard the voice. All of this was on tape. I started explaining the situation on the tape and during my speaking the voice called me again. This time it was on tape. We played it back and sure enough, right before I yelled out “Holy shit!” was a high-pitched female voice calling my name.
We ran around the house and looked for anything that might show some trickery was going on but there was nothing. My family got home after an hour or so and we played the tape for my brother. He listened with open ears and wide eyes.
I actually took the tape to school and played it for my class and everyone was pretty spooked, especially my friends I ran with at that age. Sadly, and this is something I cannot explain, the tape just disappeared one day. I honestly have no idea what happened to it.
Occasional strange sounds came and went but nothing severe happened until the next year. My best friend, let’s call him K, was staying over night one winter when we were about 12. I had a dual-cassette deck tape player (that was a big deal in 1986, man!) and it kept turning on and off all night. I unplugged it and pushed it under my bed. I was sleeping on the floor while K was sleeping on my bed. With the cord unplugged, that puppy came on three times in the night. After the first time I stopped hitting the stop button once I realized that the radio had been unplugged.
In the last year we lived there a lot of smaller things happened. Some with higher frequency. Doing the laundry became a pain because anyone who would start the wash would come down to put the wet stuff in the dryer only to find the lid on the washer was open. This wasn’t a “once-in-a-while” occurrence. It happened all the time and to everyone in the house. If it were a once in a while kind of thing, I’d be left to believe that whomever was doing the wash was just forgetful and didn’t shut the washer lid. It happened so many times that I have ruled out that possibility.
One December we went out to get a Christmas tree with J’s family. We were gone for a few hours having a great time and headed home after getting trees. A few minutes after we pulled into our driveway a police car rolled up and the office started talking to my dad. Apparently, while we were gone our phone repeatedly called 911 and sent the police to our house. There was no one home and the place was still locked, and the officer saw that no one was there. He wanted to just verify that the family was ok and that no one was home. He was a little perplexed. It never happened again.
Stuff would get lost easily, too. Usually they were small items, like watches and jewelry but one time my father went down to his shop area to grab his circular saw. We were going to our place at a lake south of Buffalo and had to build a new deck. The rest of the family was in the car waiting to shove off when he came roaring out of the house mad as hell. The saw wasn’t in his shop. The old man had many moments like the father in Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story” where he would get so mad he couldn’t form sentences and ended up just swearing a blue streak.
Dad went back into the house and tore through it and came up with nothing. Naturally, my brother and I got blamed for doing something to it. That was a negative, we hadn’t touched it. My mom told my dad that he probably let someone borrow it, or maybe he left it at our place on the lake. He was pissed and called a friend to borrow his saw for the weekend and we left.
When we got home we found a nice surprise… the saw was sitting in the middle of the living room floor.
Not long after that I was just hanging around in the house by myself one Saturday night while my parents were our somewhere. My brother was at his friend D’s house a couple of lots away from our place. I remember I was listening to Van Halen II at top volume and doing something on the computer, (gotta love Apple iie’s.) when I heard something that I thought was on the record. I put the needle back on the song to see if I could hear it again but it wasn’t there. I stopped the player and then heard the sound of my dad’s circular saw running in the basement.
I freaked out and called D's house and just started yelling for my brother to get his ass home. The both showed up a few minutes later and we went down into the basement. The saw was in its drawer and unplugged.
Shortly after this incident, we moved to another house in the same neighborhood but not much happened there. Maybe one or two things, but nothing like in the other place. It wasn’t until later that other things happened to me in other places. I’ll save that for future chapters.
Before I end, I’d like to throw this out there: I do believe it is possible that some sort of telekinetic power may have caused some of the things to happen. I just don’t know.