Hello Debbie, Story 1
I was looking through your investigations when I saw the notes on the investigation done on a residence on North Douglas Street. This caught my attention because I live on North English and grew up in the neighborhood. My parents have lived in our house on North English for about 45 years, and I have lived here for most of my 32 years of life.
I read the investigation report and was curious as to whether it was the old Jacobi house as they used to call it around here. I know that residence was for sale a little over a year ago, then saw that it was up for sale again recently. The first thing I thought was "it's haunted". The house I am speaking of is 128 N. Douglas. I know that you cannot disclose whether or not this is the residence in the investigation. I do want to tell you that growing up in this area, that house has always had a reputation for being haunted. We were afraid to trick-or-treat there when we were children. It always had an ominous vibe. The urban legend about that place is that someone hung themselves in the foyer. Some said it was the son of one of the previous owners, others versions are that it was the father. Whether or not this is true I have no idea. I thought you might find this information interesting. There is another house on North Douglas (not sure of the address) that used to be a convent. It's a huge 3 story white house. That house is known for being haunted as well. My sister's best friend lived directly across the street from it when we were growing up. She sometimes was in charge of feeding the cats for the people that lived there then when they went on vacation. She was afraid to go over there alone, so sometimes she would take my two sisters with her. My sisters reported that on several occassions in that house they heard heavy foot steps and what sounded like someone running them down in the hall, as well as disembodied voices. This was back in the late 1970's. The house at 128, haunted or not, I would still buy it if I could afford to. It's a beautiful property.
This entire neighborhood has a history of strange activity.Maybe it's because the homes are so old and offer so much history, or maybe it's the land. We weren't all that far from Camp Yates after all. After growing up experiencing paranormal activity in my own home as well as being aware of and experiencing several hauntings in this neighborhood (houses on Douglas, English and Washington streets) I have grown to be very aware of and interested in study of the supernatural.
Another interesting house is the big yellow house on the corner of English and Washington. My siblings and I have all had strange experiences in that home. I remember being about 8 or 9 years old. I was friends with the girl who lived there (the same family still owns it). I was standing in the foyer. There is an incredible staircase that also has a set of butler's stairs directly behind it that lead into the hall going to the kitchen. I heard what sounded like someone or something descending the stairs. Thinking it was one of their cats, I went onto the landing to wait and pet it. I heard the footsteps growing heavier and louder coming right toward me, but there was nothing there. A cold air passed through me and I heard the footsteps dissappear away from me down the stairs. I looked around the corner at the butler's stairs and no one (and no cat) was there. It was then that I knew that my brothers and sisters weren't just trying to scare me and the house was really haunted. I also remember that we would be in her room and hear what sounded like pacing in the attic. There was a large thick pipe (heating I am guessing) that ran through her closet and up through the attic. There was a slight gap around the pipe as the hole was square and the pipe was round. We opened her closet and looked up at the gap. It was daylight out and we could see the shadow of someone or something going back and forth over the gap. We went out to the hall to see if one of her parents went up there. The door was shut and locked. We went back to the closet. While peering up at the gap all we saw was sunlight and heard no footsteps. One of us said something like "I guess whatever it was is gone". Just then a shadow slowly enveloped all of the sunlight around the gap as if someone were slowly kneeling and peering down at us. That still gives me the creeps to think about. I told Angie (the girl that lived there) about the stories that people had about the house after we experienced that and several other strange things together in the house. This scared her and her parents scolded me and told me that if I kept telling her ghost stories we would no longer be able to play together (as if it were my fault that the house was haunted). I was told that there was an eccentric doctor that used to live in the home (I think he was a dentist) and he spent alot of time in the attic (doing who knows what). He apparently died there and people seem to think that he is the one haunting the place. I also remember Angie and I going up to the attic and hearing what sounded like rice or beans being poured onto a hard surface. We went to where the sound came from and found tiny needles all over the floor. They were like needle tips set in little rubber stoppers like needles that you would put into the end of something such as a dentist drill. Her parents did not have anything like that in the house and we were the only 2 people up there.
I have many more stories, especially about the house I grew up in. If you would like I can tell you more about this place. We still hear and see things now and again, but it was much worse when my sister and I were younger. We are 5 years apart and I think it may have been poltergeist like activity feeding off of our energy when we were teens and pre-teens. I can sleep peacefully here now, but spent a countless number of sleepless nights as a child. I was afraid every night of what I would see or hear. It was almost like "Ok, if I open my eyes am I going to see someone standing in the doorway, or will my covers be pulled off of my feet". I had been held down and tickled, hair pulled, objects thrown at my head, our butts have been grabbed and pinched, amongst many other things. My sister and I (and several family friends) had whitnessed the apparition of a boy and we all described him the same way, Snap brim hat, knickerbockers, a vest over a white button down shirt, and high lace up boots. My mother and older sister have also heard him calling "mother, mother" in the middle of the night. Like I said, it's not nearly as active now, but we still do hear and see things here. My mother and I have always wanted your organization to perform an investigation, but my dad is 87 and a non-believer and he would have a fit. He thinks we are silly when we talk about what we have seen and heard around here, but has admitted to hearing his name called when no one else is around and seeing an old man and a little boy standing before him upon waking from a nap (and that was within the last year).
I just wanted to share these stories with you and the information on the property on Douglas Street. I love reading your investigation stories. It's nice to know that there are other believers out there that aren trying to make the paranormal field something other than "hokey".
This is pretty lenghthy, but I hope you read all of it.......... Story 2
My parent's house (where I also currently reside) is at 232 N. English. From the abstract it looks as if the house was built around 1903. I am not good at reading the abstract, it goes back to when the land was made into a lot as part of the Isaac Keys Subdivision. I think from what the abstract says that the family that built the house was named Lancaster. Several other family members also had homes on the block. I believe it was a mother, a father and two sons that owned the land around our house. From what I can read on the abstract, the son named Thomas lived in this house. It's hard to tell who had what because the address was different then. The street originally ended just South of our driveway. There was a public alleyway along the drive running East to West, and there was an Osage Hedge that ran along the alleyway. When I researched the Lancaster family that resided here, I found that it was a young family Thomas and Pearl. They also had a little girl, I think her name was Rose? Thomas was a Teamster. Each of the family members had a horrible early death. The daughter died of pneumonia at age 3, the mother died of an undisclosed illness shortly after. She was in her early 20's. About a year later Thomas was shot to death in a hunting "accident". Being a Teamster in the early 1900's I wonder how much of an accident it was. He was 26 years old. I found this information on their obituaries on microfilm at the Prairie Archives. According to the obituaries, their funerals were also held at the residence. The next family that I know of is the Valansky's. They were immigrants from I believe Lithuania from what a neighbor told my mother. They purchased the home in 1920 and lived here until 1961. The father died only a few years after the family moved in here (I am not sure what of or how old he was). They eventually duplexed the house making an upstairs and a downstairs unit. From what is indicated, the oldest daughter Ann lived in the upper unit with her family, and the mother and son Paul lived in the lower unit. The mother, Anna, died in the house in 1960(ish). Paul apparently moved to New York shortly there after and died at the age of 40 around 1961. Metlife kept sending information on an insurance policy that had a face value of $10,000. The contract was purchased in 1960.They were desperately trying to contact him regarding the policy. I sent them a letter stating that the family had not lived at the residence for quite some time and Paul was deceased. I found his obituary at the Prairie Archives and sent a copy to them. So, while we know of nothing profoundly strange about this family, they are shrouded in mystery as well. A family named Sheahan (or something like that) lived here next. They had 2 little boys, but their boys were healthy and I am sure are still alive and well today. They only stayed about a year and then sold it to my parents who purchased it in 1964.
So enough of the history! My mom never really noticed anything that strange in the first 10-15 years. Only things that could be explained as an old house settling. Little things such as things disappearing only to be found in an odd place later. Toys would come up missing, and she would discount it as a neighbor kid or the visiting cousin taking it. My dad would find strange things like toys, coins and silverware in the air return vent. They blamed it on my siblings, who denied it. They couldn’t have lifted the heavy iron vent cover, or fit those things through the tiny holes. My mom was the first to experience anything really strange. The first occurrence happened in about 1979 - 1980. I was only few years old. She was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. My brother Paul (weird named coincidence, I know), my sister Amy and I were asleep in a downstairs bedroom. My mom woke to someone calling "Mother! Mother!" very urgently from downstairs. She dutifully put her robe and slippers on and muttered "I am coming". As she made her way to the stairs and became more awake and aware, she realized several things. First, none of her children called her "mother". It was always mom, mommy or mamma. Second, the voice belonged to a boy. She had 2 girls and a boy down there. Third, the voice did not belong to my brother. It was much more infant like. He was about 10-11 at the time. As she realized these things, she hesitated at the top of the stairs. In a classic haunted house moment, she also realized that the light switch was all the way at the bottom of the stairs and the staircase was enveloped in complete darkness. As she starred down into the darkness trying to gather the courage to make it all the way to the bottom to turn the light on, the voice came again. Only this time it was deeper and louder, and came from the landing directly below. The voice demanded "Mother! You come here NOW”! This of course scared the crap out of her. She was definitely more afraid to go into the darkness because of what was in there. Her motherly instincts took over, and she remembered that her children were down there with whom or whatever was yelling to her. She didn't know if someone had broken in. She ran down the stairs, and turning on every light she could find along the way. She came into our room. All three of us were fast asleep, and peaceful. She checked the rest of the house only to find it empty and quiet.
The second occurrence happened to my brother Paul. This was around the same time period. He loved Matchbox cars and had a big collection of them. He was playing with them one afternoon on his bed (the same room we were in when my mom heard the voice). My parents came home from the grocery store, and he was told to help carry in the groceries. He left all of the cars on his bed, and stepped away for maybe 5 minutes. There were at least 50 little cars on that bed, probably more. When he went back to play with them, they were not there. He got really upset and started yelling at my brother Eric to give them back. Eric was a teenager then, and was not interested in toy cars. He was convinced that Eric was playing a trick on him. When he finally realized that Eric was not tricking him, he started getting freaked out. They searched the entire house for any sign of the cars, but never found them. To this day we have still never found any of those missing cars. He ended up getting many more as the years went on, but I think that even at 39 years old, he is still sore about those particular cars :).
The next happening was a few years later during the early 1980's. My sister Kathleen (Kathe) came home from a night out with her friends. She was maybe 17 or 18 years old. She didn't think anything of coming into a dark house. She thought we all went to bed. My father, for the most part, believed in early to bed, early to rise, so it would not have been uncommon for all of us to be in bed at 10:00 on a Saturday night. She started walking toward her room which happened to be the same room that Amy, Paul and I were sharing when my mom first heard the voice. We had since been moved upstairs. She first heard giggling coming from her room. Of course, it was dark in there (it always is when these things happen). She then heard a little voice say "Mother, mother". It was almost taunting her. Thinking it was one of us, she replied "Ha ha, get out of my room and go to bed before I tell dad on you". She walked into the dark room, and still heard giggling and heard it say "mother" once more. She turned the light on and stomped over to the other side of her bed getting ready to give one of us a good scolding only to find that there was no one there. She checked under her bed and anywhere else we could hide and found no one. She ran upstairs to get my mom only to be met with empty beds. No one was home. My father had decided to take us on a ride by the lake that night and we were not home. When we did come home my parents found her very upset in the house with all of the lights on. My dad of course got mad about all of the lights being on :). My mom asked her what was wrong. As she relayed the story to my mother it was all too familiar to her. Up until then my mom had not told us about her experience because she didn't want us to be scared (too late). My mom then told her what had happened to her. I think that is when they decided that they had a haunting.
Not long after that the two oldest moved out and there was more switching around of bedrooms. My mother made sure that we all stayed on the same level to sleep however :). My sister Amy and I spent some time in the upper bedroom that was the "boys room" after Eric moved out. Paul, being the only boy left, was moved to the little room at the end of the hall. I think this is the room I was most terrified in. I was between the ages of 6-10 in this room. My bed was right by the door. I was terrified of looking out that doorway all night. My father didn't want it shut (he thought it was a fire hazard). My sister and I were afraid that something would "get us" and my mom wouldn't be able to hear. My only console was that my mom was right across the hall and I could see into her room and knew that she was there. I remember that I tied a hand mirror to my headboard with a ribbon so that I could always see around me. It seemed more frightening to hear the noises and not know what it was rather than actually seeing it. I would also line all of my stuffed animals around me for protection. All along my sides, along my feet and behind my head. They were my little army of supporters :). It was terrifying to see out into that hallway at night. The top of the stairs were right there. I would hear footsteps coming up and down them and see shadows pass off and onto them. My covers would get pulled off of my feet. I would feel the pressure of someone or something sitting on the bed with me. I would even feel the pressure of something crawling into my bed and laying next to me. I had a cat that usually slept with me but I knew it was not her because she was always dutifully lying behind my head with my little army of supporters. Once I woke to see a tall man with a fedora type hat on leaning against my doorway. He was all black shadow, but I knew he was starring at me. I slowly turned over in my bed away from the doorway and closed my eyes tight. Once I woke to see some sort of humanlike image pressed up against the outside of the window like it was looking in. This is a second story bedroom. When I screamed it jumped back and dissipated into the wind. I can only describe it as looking like it was made of leaves. It could have been leaves, but I highly doubt that leaves just happen to get stuck to your window in the shape of a 6 foot tall human. I would hear voices. Sometimes it sounded like the whispers of a million people talking at once. Sometimes there would be an argument coming from downstairs between a man and a woman. My mother and several other people have heard these arguments too. I knew it was not my mom and dad because I could see them in the room across from me. Also, my father snored like a bear, so we always knew when he was asleep in bed. I would sometimes see the images of faces appear on the walls. There were always 3 and they looked like masks to me. I didn't get through very many nights without calling for my mom to come sleep with me because I worked myself up into frenzy because of what I had seen or I was afraid of what might happen. This caused much friction between my parents because he didn't understand and thought I was just being an impossible child that wanted my mother's attention. My mother knew what was going on in the house and was afraid for me. My sister experienced the covers being pulled off and such when she was in this room, but she was lucky enough to have a bed in the corner nook, so she didn't see as much as I did.
In 1987, Amy and I were moved into my parent's old room. I was excited because I felt that I would be somewhat safer in there. While I didn't feel as threatened, a lot of things happened in there as well. This is the time period when a lot of the violent things happened. My sister was 15 and I was 10 which after studying the paranormal makes me wonder if it was playing off of our hormonal changes and emotions. There was also a lot of remodeling going on during these years, which as I now know also has adverse effects on the paranormal. My sister and I had day beds that were set up so that they were facing each other with a little "aisle" in between. Shortly after moving into the room, one night my sister and I were in bed and talking to each other before we went to sleep. I started squirming around and giggling. She asked me what the hell was wrong with me. I said "Someone is tickling me". I could actually feel someone's hands and fingers digging into my sides and tickling me. I jumped across from my bed to hers. She promptly pushed me to the floor and said "Well I don't want you. I don't need that crap over here". I laugh thinking about it now. A few months after that, I was home and sick with a fever. I woke up in my bed around 6:00 P.M. The room was dim because it was autumn, and I could hear my family having dinner downstairs. I felt that something woke me. I was facing the wall, and turned around. There standing beside my bed was a boy. A pale boy in a snap brim cap and knickerbockers. He had on a vest with a white button down shirt underneath. His mouth was moving but no sound was coming out of it. I could make out "get out, get up" and something about fire. He was frantic. He would come near me then walk a few steps away like he desperately wanted me to follow him (now I wish I had). When he stepped away I noticed that he was wearing high boots that laced up. He seemed to get more and more faint every time he stepped away from me until he disappeared completely. I called for my mom, and told her what I had seen. Because it was the first time I or anyone saw this boy, and I had a fever, my mom and I decided that I must have been hallucinating and kept it to ourselves. Sure enough, a few weeks later, my sister woke in our room one night and guess who she saw sitting in the corner of the room. Yep, that same boy. Only this time he had a voice and he was telling his opinion. He was surrounded by antique toys that my sister did not recognize. He was jabbering on about "this used to be my house, and this was my room! I slept right here in this corner! And these were MY toys!". Being half asleep and having a penchant for being opinionated herself she yelled "SHUT UP"! He heard her, and he looked up and locked eyes with her. I think they were both startled. She suddenly was fully awake and realized that she was dealing with a ghost. She dove under her covers and didn't come out until the morning. She did notice that there was a circle of toys in that corner of the room that morning. They were however our things, but she knows we did not leave them that way, and some of them were toys that we had not played with since we were small that were put away. She told us what had happened in the morning. My mother and I told her about they boy I had seen. We both described the same exact boy. I think on another occasion, he woke her up and asked her to play with him. Other people have seen this boy as well. Once my brother had a friend over and they were getting ready to go out. His friend walked down the hall to the bathroom. As he walked past our bedroom doorway, he saw a boy standing in the middle of the room starring at him. He did not stop, but continued on to the bathroom thinking that the kid was creepy but nothing more. When he came back by there was no one in the room. He asked my brother if my mom was babysitting. My brother said no and asked why. He told him about the creepy kid in our room. My brother laughed and told him about the ghost boy in the house. I do not think that friend ever came back. Another friend of his was spending the night once. He was in a sleeping bag on my brother's floor. He woke up to find himself face to face with what he thought was a little boy. He jumped up and no one was there. My best friend Sara had an experience the first night she slept over. We were about 14 at the time. Amy had moved out by then, and I had the room all to myself. Sara was sleeping in one daybed and I was in the other. The way she tells it is that it started with the door knob turning. This kept happening for about 10 minutes. Then the door would open part way and shut. After happening a couple of times, she got up and opened the door herself and looked out into the hallway. There was no one out there. The hall was lit by a nightlight. She swears that she saw the shadow of a child pass over the light of the nightlight on the hall floor. Another friend, Christy, was spending the night around this same time period. We were in the dark giggling and talking about boys that we liked. She was in one day bed, I in the other. We were laughing hysterically about something and I saw her face turn from humor to sheer terror in one instant. She pointed behind me and said “OH…MY…GOD…”. Well, after what I had gone through growing up before I even asked what it was, I dove over to the bed she was in. She didn’t push me out like my sister. We dove under the covers and I asked her what she saw. All she would say was “There….there’s a man…”. I got the courage to peer out and saw the silhouette of a tall man against the blinds on the window. This is a second story window. There is a street light outside, but I have never seen anyone’s shadow cast up like that from the street. The light would have to have been under him, not above him. There is a porch roof outside the window, but to get onto it you would either have to get a ladder and climb up onto the roof which we would have obviously heard, or to crawl out of the window, which we would have obviously seen. I finally got the courage to go over and quickly pull the blind up. There was no one outside of the window, and no one was on the roof. Going back a few years, to the “violent time”, when I was about 11 or 12, I was passing through the hallway between the bedroom I used to sleep in and my current bedroom. I heard a whizzing noise go by my ear, and then a big bang. My mom yelled at me thinking I threw something down the stairs. I told her it wasn’t me. On the landing we found a nickel. We are guessing that it must have been thrown from my brother’s room at the end of the hall and aimed for me. It was thrown with force. If it had hit me in the head, as intended, it would have hurt me pretty bad. It ended up hitting the window sill at the bottom of the stairs. There is still a dent in the wood where it hit. My brother’s closet, which my mom refers to as the closet from hell, also had a lot of weird stuff going on in it. My brother once heard knocking coming from inside. He knocked back and it would knock back. He told a friend about this. The friend thought he was tough and brave and wanted to try it out. The friend came over and knocked, nothing happened, he knocked again, nothing happened, after the 3rd time he prematurely decided that my brother was full of shit. That’s about when 3 loud bangs came back from the other side of the door and the door burst open at him. He didn’t think my brother was full of shit anymore, and didn’t try knocking anymore. I once heard very loud scratching coming from the other side of that door. I went into the room and the door was shaking violently and something really wanted out. I was scared but I also thought that maybe my cat got trapped inside. I finally managed to get the courage to open the door. All at once the scratching stopped and there was nothing inside. The closet goes pretty deep. I thought that if it was my cat, she may have run further back. I called to her, but she did not come. I bravely stepped inside. The closet felt very cold. Refrigerated cold, which was very odd being that it was the middle of summer. I felt like something was very wrong and all I wanted to do was to get out of that closet, but I was afraid for my cat. I went to get my mom to help find the cat. She was out on the front porch reading. Underneath her chair on the porch was my cat, lounging in the sun. I asked my mom how long the cat had been there. She said “oh, about an hour”. That really freaked me out to know that I stepped into that closet with whatever was scratching like that. After telling her what happened, my mom promptly drew a cross on the inside of the door. Nothing violent happened after that in there, but several kids who tried to test the ghost in the closet after that were locked in and the lights were shut off on them. During the violent time my mom, my sister and I all experienced our butts being pinched or slapped in the bathroom. My sister once saw a man standing behind her in the bathroom mirror. She was a teenager, and one of her good friends had died in a tragic car accident shortly before that. She convinced herself it was Joe. The day that Joe died, I came home from school. I had to use my key to get in, which was very rare because my mom was a housewife and made it a point to be there when her kids got home. I entered through the back door, and heard what sounded like everything up stairs being turned over. It sounded like people running back and forth and heavy furniture being pushed over. I got scared because I did not know what was going on or if someone had broken in. I yelled out “Who is up there”, and the noise stopped. After a few minutes I went up to find everything intact and that I was alone in the house. I sat on the porch until my mother returned home with Amy who was very distraught. The school called because she was very upset when she heard of the tragedy of her friend and they thought it would be best if my mom came and got her from school rather than letting her go home alone. That was not the only time that same noise was heard. My father has even heard it when he has come home and no one else is there. He told my mother and I once when we returned home from shopping “I thought you girls were upstairs fighting, you wouldn’t believe what I heard going on up there”. Yet, he still does not believe. It seemed during this time the ghost had an infatuation with loose change, particularly nickels. We would find our shoes filled with coins. Sometimes dollar bills would go missing, and end up in shoes later. We would find nickels and/or pennies lined up on the floor in the shape of an arrow, or box shapes. The kicker was one morning when my mom went down to the kitchen to find that the trim was completely lined with nickels along one wall of the kitchen. The ceiling is very high and the molding was at least 9 feet up. It could have been humanly done, but it would require a ladder and a lot of time. I do not think that anyone in my family would go through all of that trouble during the middle of the night, or go unheard just to play a joke. My mom had to stand on a chair and then use a broom to swat the coins down. There was also a popple piggy bank that I had (they were those little stuffed things that turned into themselves to form a ball) that the ghost seemed to like. It would end up on top of the ceiling fan blades in my room. My mom would take it down, go back upstairs later, and it would be up there again. She finally tied it to a little chair to see what would happen. Sure enough, she went upstairs and the damn thing was on top of the ceiling fan and it’s shackles were on the ground below it. She put it out in the trash. Once we were sitting in the front living room watching TV. I kept seeing something right next to me out of the corner of my eye. I would turn, and there was nothing there. Then I felt a tug on my hair. I said “Hey”! Then a section of my hair rose up into the air and something was giving it a very painful tug. My mom heard me screaming and turned just in time to see it jerk my hair so hard to the ground that my body actually went sideways and toward the ground over the arm of the chair. She got mad and started cussing the ghost out (it’s really something to see a little French woman yelling at a ghost). She opened the front door and yelled “Get the hell out of my house and don’t come back until you can be nice”. Then she slammed the door. For about a month afterward, every night, at the same time, we would hear “Bang bang” on the window that faced onto the porch. It sounded like someone knocking on it with their fist. It continued every night, until my mom opened the door and said “ok, if you can be nice you can come back in”. That ended the knocking, and no one ever had their hair pulled again. Once I came home from school and went up to my room (this was back in the old room that scared me). I could hear laughing coming from my closet. I thought it was my sister and her friend Debbie tricking me. I said “Ha ha, I know you guys are in there, I can hear you laughing”. They didn’t come out, but I continued to hear the laughing. I opened the door and way down in the dark I could see two faces. It looked like someone wearing glow-in-the-dark face paint. Again I said “I can see you guys”. They did not respond. I reached down to touch one of the faces while saying “I can S…” as I touched the face it was warm and soft feeling like static electricity, and my hand went right through it. I ran downstairs and told my mom “Amy and Debbie are scaring me”. She looked at me puzzled and said “Amy and Debbie are not here. They walked over to Thrifty”. I still do not like that closet (or the closet from hell). During this time my mother also saw what she can only describe as a wild ball of light roll down the stairs. She heard something coming down the stairs very fast. She looked just in time to see a ball of orange/red light fall onto the landing. It swirled around fast and aimlessly for a few seconds then rolled down toward the kitchen. My mom ran around to the kitchen side, and there was nothing there.
When I reached my teens, I started becoming really interested in the supernatural. I was looking for ghosts everywhere. I experienced things at friend’s houses, and other places. My friend Sara’s house had activity (which has whole other stories that I will tell you later). We think it was probably always there, they just needed someone that was in tune with it to point it out to them (well Sara did anyway. Not so sure about her mom). A lot of people were scared of me because they knew about my haunting, and assumed that ghosts followed me because most places I went seemed to be haunted. A lot of people thought of me as a freak. Some of my sister’s friends would see me and say “ooohh, witchy woman, don’t put a curse on me”. I was everyone’s favorite party freak because I could tell stories that would scare the crap out of them, but then no one would come near me just as if being near me would make a ghost follow them home. I volunteered at the Theater Center when I was 16-17 and experienced Joe. I was making fun of him because someone had told me that he was starring in “Death of a Salesman” the night he killed himself (I now know that is not true, and not to make fun of Joe). A girl named Beth and I were running costumes to and from the basement during a dress rehearsal. We were on those tiny concrete stairs that were right behind the stage. I was ahead. As we were walking, I said “So, what exactly did they say that night “I am sorry, our show is cancelled due to the fact that our salesman is actually dead””. I thought this was incredibly funny and started laughing. I felt a shove on my back, and ended up falling down the steps. My butt hit every little concrete step on the way. When I got to the bottom I was mad because I wondered why Beth would push me. I looked up and Beth was at the top of the stairs looking horrified. She said “Oh my god, I was trying to catch up to you and I got to the steps and saw you falling. What happened”! I swear she was behind me the whole time. Someone was, because I was talking to somebody. I guess it was Joe and he didn’t like my comment. My interest in the paranormal started taking a turn that focused more on the occult that I now regret. I started getting interested in Wicca. I was playing with Ouija boards and reading Tarrot cards. I now know that playing with Ouija boards is not wise as even though it is only cardboard and plastic, you are allowing whatever passes through to use you as a tool, and you cannot control what comes through. I also think that my dabbling in these things created a portal of some sort as there have been several things that have come and go through the house and still do. We didn’t hear or see the boy much during this time, but there were still things going on. It was mainly targeting my niece Rachel at this time. She was about 4 years old. She would talk about “the yuckies” in Grandma’s closet. This was the same closet that I saw the glowing faces in. We asked her who the yuckies were. She said she wasn’t allowed to talk about them because they told her if she did they would hurt her. She also saw something she called pink hat by the garbage can. She said pink hat was a man that sat by the garbage can. He was a light that was pink colored and shaped like a hat. He told her things that she did not like. This was also around the time that “The Crowe” was popular. I had the CD soundtrack. She saw the picture of Brandon Lee on the front cover and said “It’s the master”! I asked her to repeat because I couldn’t understand whether she was saying master or monster. She definitely said master. I asked her who that master was. She told me that pink hat told her about him and he was outside in the back yard. I took her to a window that faced the backyard and asked her to show me where the master was. She pointed to the end of the drive. I asked her if he was there just then. She said yes, he was standing by the pole where the street light is. This was broad daylight. There was no one there. I asked her if she was sure that she saw someone. She said “Ya, the master, he’s right there”, and she started laughing as if it was amusing to her. She also talked to my mom about the yuckies, pink hat and the master. She liked to play hide and seek, and sometimes she would hide under the covers so she could pop out and scare me or my mom. She decided to sneak away from my mom once and crawled under the pillows on her bed to wait until my mom came to find her. This is the same bedroom where I spent all of those hellish nights. My mom heard her crying from upstairs, not realizing she had even snuck away, and ran up to find Rachel on her bed with a pillow over her face. She was sitting straight up moving her head from side to side, and the pillow was over her face with the indention of something holding it there. My mom yelled “Stop!” and the pillow fell down. Rachel was frantic and told my mom how she snuck away from her to play hide and seek and one of the yuckies put a pillow over her face. Needless to say she never wanted to play hide and seek again. Even if I was the one hiding and she was seeking, she was terrified to play. Rachel is now 17 and has no recollection of what she saw or what happened to her here. Also during this time, Sara and I were watching a movie in the front living room. I eventually grew to become a big fan of horror movies and couldn’t get enough of them. My dad was gone to the races like usual on a Friday night. My mom didn’t like horror movies, and was in the other living room watching TV. From the chair I was sitting in, I could see into the kitchen. There is an entry way into the dining room off the kitchen, and toward the back there is a back entry hall with a little bathroom off of it. You can also go into the other living room through the dining room. I saw a person, who I thought was my mom, go from the dining room to the back bathroom across the kitchen. They were slightly hunched over and their head was cocked sideways. Their hands were clasped behind their back. I thought she was being goofy or something. I laughed and said “What the hell are you doing”? What or whoever it was locked eyes with me and smiled as they continued to the bathroom. Sara asked who I was talking to. I said “My mom, she’s being goofy”. I started to wonder about her because she didn’t come back out after about 20 minutes. Then I heard the channels changing in the other room. I jumped up and yelled “MMOOOOMMMM”!! Here I was thinking she was the one in the bathroom, and something was changing channels on the television. She was still watching TV and I startled her when I screamed and ran in there. I told her about the person I saw. The 3 of us grabbed “weapons” (steak knives, hammers, etc) and slowly crept to the bathroom. No one was in there of course, but the air was statically charged. All of us had hair standing up on our arms and got that general “heeby geeby” feeling. My mother and I saw an apparition of someone in a blue coverall work suit on separate occasions. I saw the arm and part of the torso on the landing .She saw most of the person cross her bedroom. He was looking at her when as he walked across. She almost described him as walking the same way as the person I saw going into the bathroom. I once got a lamp that was fashioned like a Victorian lamp. It had a brass base with a swan’s neck, and there was a white glass shade hanging from the neck with beaded fringe hanging all around it. The night that I put it together and stood it beside my bed, I saw a woman float across my room and run her hands through the beads. Even after she disappeared, the beads were still swinging and clanking together. She was all white (I know that sounds trite), but I don’t think it was that she was wearing white, I think it was more like she was so faded. My mother once saw a cute little girl sitting on the kitchen steps. She was white as well. We think that this may have been the Lancasters. Perhaps the man in coveralls is Thomas. Maybe that was his hunting attire. Sometimes at night we would hear someone frantically rustling through papers. We thought perhaps there were mice, but upon inspection found no signs of mice. This was around the time that Metlife kept trying to contact Paul Valansky about the insurance policy. After I sent them the letter and his obituary, they stopped sending letters and we didn’t hear the papers rustling anymore. Another time I woke up in bed one morning and noticed some strange color on my pillow. I got up and held the pillow in front of me. It was two hand prints. The way they were positioned, it was as if someone was watching me sleep and put their hands on the pillow. I could not have put my hands that way unless I am a contortionist in my sleep, and I would not have had anything on my hands that would make that kind of a print. It was black and powdery with a greenish tint. I took the pillow down and showed my mom and dad. My dad said it looked like chimney soot. We do not have any fireplaces in this house. It wiped right off. The handprints were small and childlike too.
In the recent years we have experienced similar things to the above stuff. Voices, noises, brief shadows and apparitions, but nothing like what was going on during the late 80’s to early 90’s. My sister Amy insists that the haunting revolves around me, but my mom still experienced stuff when I lived in California. And yes, there was activity in my apartment in California too! Matter of fact, my boyfriend Steve and I started bonding because of a haunted house. We knew each other from work. We were pretty good friends. He told me in confidence over break one time about the house he was painting. One of our company Vice Presidents was trying to get her mother’s house ready for sale. She had died in the house after suffering a long term illness. Her husband also died there. Coincidentally, I adopted the deceased woman’s cats because they needed a home (two beautiful Persian cats. I am so glad that I took them in). Steve had a side business that did house painting, window washing, power washing siding, etc. She hired him to paint the interior of the house so that it could be put up for sale. I asked him how the painting was going. He said “It’s going to take a while. My two guys that are supposed to be helping ran out on the job”. I asked why, and he looked all sheepish and said “Well…I don’t know how you feel about this but, I think that there are ghosts there”. I was of course intrigued and thought “He has no idea”. He told me that when he was there alone he could hear footsteps and voices in other rooms, and that the other guys experienced stuff too and that’s why they wouldn’t work there. I of course wanted to go over there. He said that if I was going to hang around to look for ghosts, that I could help paint too. I agreed and we painted together. I don’t remember experiencing anything paranormal while we were there, but it’s probably because there were too many sparks flying between the two of us. I was too busy concentrating on Steve! After going back to that house however, I started experiencing stuff in my apartment. I woke up once to find an old woman starring down over me. I gasped and smacked at her. I felt so bad because my hand went through her face, and I accidentally hit Hammie my boy cat. It’s kind of funny, but I still felt bad for hitting him. I think it was their previous owner, and that she followed me home to see the cats. Another time Sara (Same Sara from Springfield, who was also my roommate out there) and I were sitting in our living room. Sara had just poured a glass of lemonade, and set it on the side table next to the couch. The cats were on the couch with us. The glass flew from the table and the contents went all over the carpet. Sara and I both agreed that it looked like someone smacked it off of the table. Once I came home from work and was walking back to the bedrooms. Sara was not home because her commute from Santa Monica was longer than mine from Chatsworth. Our bedrooms were side by side, and both doors were open. As I stepped down the hall and looked up I saw a woman sitting on the end of Sara’s bed. She had red hair and was wearing red clothes, like a bath robe or something. She looked old and distressed, but didn’t seem to be as old as she looked. She was just starring at the floor like she was confused or somehow defeated. Just as quick as I saw her she was gone. We later learned that the woman that lived in the apartment before us was moved to a convalescent hospital not far from our complex down on Ventura. We think that maybe she died there and it was her “coming home”. She lived in the apartment for over 15 years before us. I would also hear a cat crying out at night. The first few times I would wake up panicked when I heard it thinking something was wrong with one of my cats. I would jump up and yell “Mina! Mina what’s wrong?”, only to find that my cats were asleep with me. I would hear it all the way up until I reached the living room then it would stop. Every time I turned the lights on and looked around there was nothing. Sara and I both saw glimpses of a grey cat that resembled Mina, but Mina and Hammie were both accounted for every time. We would refer to this cat as “the other Mina”. The scariest thing that happened there was one night I woke up and saw a man on my ceiling. It still scares me to think of him. He was upside down but in a position like he was crawling. He had on a long black coat that looked like it came out of a grave. He also had long black hair. He had very pale skin and his finger nails where long. His facial features were sharp and he had a long nose. He was bearing his teeth which looked jagged or broken. One thing that also scared me was that even though he was upside down on the ceiling, the only thing hanging down was the worn tail of his coat. His hair and coat back and sleeves were perfectly placed as if he were on the ground. And it smelled terrible while he was in there. Like rancid water. I referred to him as the vampire, and was glad I only saw him once. I did NOT like him one bit. Were I lived in Studio City was very close to the “Los Angeles River”. I feel that maybe he was drowned or committed suicide down in the river. Regardless of the hauntings, I loved that apartment and sometimes wish I was still there. While I was there, my mom was still having experiences here. Matter of fact, it was during that time that my dad heard someone call his name when no one else was around. There is a picture taken during that time from the back of the house that looks like someone is looking out one of the back windows (the bedroom that I enjoyed so much).
That brings us to current times. People always want to come over and see the ghost. I always tell them “well, they don’t perform on command”. My uncle was spending some time here a few years back. He was an elderly gentleman who is now deceased. He slept in the room that used to be my brother’s. He told us after spending one night in that room that he saw his long deceased wife come out of the “closet from hell” and speak to him. My aunt also had an experience in that room. She heard someone walk down the hall, saw the door knob turn, the door opened, no one was there. The door then shut. She got up and looked out into the hall, and no one was there. Everyone else was fast asleep. Like me as a child, she woke my mom and asked her to stay with her for the rest of the night. One time about a year ago, during the holidays, my mom was baking in the kitchen. She was taking a break and eating a pizzelle when she saw a small head peeking around the corner on the stairs. All she saw was a little face and a head full of black hair. She was so startled that she spit out her cookie and asked “do you want a pizzelle?” while holding the rest of the cookie out to the child. My father was napping in his chair a year or so ago. He woke up and saw a little boy and an old man standing in front of him. He told my mom about it and was obviously shaken up. She told him that we had been experiencing stuff like that for years in the house. He still doesn’t believe! I used to put up a “haunted house” in the basement for my nieces and nephews every Halloween. A couple years ago while I was setting up my radio went off and on a couple of times, and changed stations. Scissors and other things like tape went missing then showed back up right where I left them a few minutes later. One year during Halloween my sister-in-law took a picture of my nephew in front of the house in his costume. He was dressed as a knight, and had his shield and sword up. There is a white cloudy image over him in the picture that almost looks like something (about the same size as him) imitating his pose. The sky was clear, it was evening but there was still some natural light, and no one was smoking around him. There have been other pictures taken on the front porch that show a whispy white mist. We wondered whether or not the boy was still here because we didn’t hear or see of him for a long time. He is obviously still here. A couple years ago the next door neighbor told my brother of an experience that his son had with our house. His youngest son was apparently having trouble sleeping when they first moved in. He would get up at night and look out the window at the moon and stars. His bedroom window faced our house. The bathroom window is the only window on the upper level on that side of our house. One of the nights that the neighbor boy was awake and looking out the window, he heard a boy talking to him from our bathroom window. I do not know what they talked about, but they apparently had several conversations over several nights. From what I understand, he thought he was talking to my nephew Brad. My brother told the neighbor that Brad didn’t live there, and that when he did spend the night he would not be up at 2:00 in the morning by himself in the bathroom. He won’t even go to the bathroom by himself in this house after dark. He then explained the ghost boy to the neighbor. I don’t know how he felt about this but as far as I know his son wasn’t talking to anyone through the window in the middle of the night anymore. There was a weird thing that happened to my brother once. He is into racing, and works at S & M Go-Kart Supply. He became friends with one of the guys that was a frequent customer who eventually became an employee. My brother and this guy and their wives would do stuff with each other on weekends. One night they were camping at one of the local campgrounds. It was late and they were up talking. They started telling ghost stories. My sister-in-law said “Paul, tell them about your parent’s house”. He started talking about the house, and the other guy’s wife started telling her stories about a house that she had been in as a child. They started realizing through their stories that they were talking about the same neighborhood. She said that her grandparents lived on MacArthur when she was a child. She spent a lot of time over there She said there was a house on English where she played with the boys that lived there. She remembered going upstairs to the little kitchen and there was a closet in there that they were scared to go into because weird things would happen in there. The old people in the neighborhood told the kids that the mafia set fire to the house once because the people there owed them money. They also said a little boy died in the fire. My brother said “Wait, English, that’s the street where our house is”. She said it was the grey house on the alley. The siding looked like shingles. My brother was thinking of a completely different house that matched that description, but was on the other side of the street. She said that this house was right behind her grandparent’s house, which confused him. He asked my mom about it a few days later. My mom grew wide eyed and said “they were talking about our house”. He apparently did not know that when my parents moved in the house had gray shingle siding. He also was not aware that the house was previously duplexed and there was a kitchen in the room where he slept (where the closet from hell is). The time period that the woman was speaking of fit the time when the family with the 2 little boys lived here right before my parents bought it. I tried to research evidence of a fire. Unfortunately the Prairie Archives told me that if it was pre-1930’s, fires were only recorded by neighborhood fire houses, and many of the records were thrown out when the firehouse went defunct. It was only written about in the papers if a mass number of people perished, or it happened to someone of importance. We found evidence of a fire when we were working on the kitchen in about 1994. A plaster wall was torn into to be replaced with drywall. The wood behind the plaster was charred black. The wall is below that little room where the “closet from hell” is at. Someone could have died from smoke inhalation up there. The only other thing we know about this closet is that when my parents moved in, they noticed from the outside there was a small window behind this closet, but could not locate it. They discovered a trap door that lead to a crawl space behind the closet. The window was in the crawl space. The space was limited up there as it was, and my dad thought it was silly to leave the space wasted when they needed it. He knocked the wall down and it turned out that the closet went back pretty deep. My mom said that there were news paper clippings back there. They discounted it as insulation, but now she wishes they would have paid more attention to them. We still have not figured out who the boy was. The Valansky’s only had Paul, and he obviously did not die as a child. They are the only family that fits the time period that he is dressed in. The 2 conclusions we have come to are that he was either a family friend or relative that was visiting, or that he was one of Anne’s kids that lived up there. Anne married and her last name became Knox. They are the ones that lived on the upper unit. I have not had any luck tracing the names of any of Anne’s children. I have often wondered if there are any of her living relatives that could provide insight, but how do you go about that? Say “Hi, you don’t know me, but I live in the house that your grandparents once lived in and I think it’s haunted by one or more of your relatives”.
We had a small investigation done by a friend of my sister Kathe’s about a year ago. It was weird how that came about too. She was at a Halloween weenie roast at a friend of her daughter’s (Rachel). They got to talking about ghosts, and my sister made mention of our house. She was telling the story of the neighbor boy having conversations in the middle of the night with the ghost not knowing it was a ghost. One of the friends of the family, whom she had never met, interrupted and said “You mean Michael”. Dawn, the hostess of the party introduced my sister to the man that made the comment saying “This is my friend Damon. He is a psychic medium”. Damon further elaborated on the story. He sensed the little boy in the house and they talked about it. I am not sure what all they talked about. He kept mentioning Michael. Apparently she called my mom during the middle of the night at this party because she was floored about how right on this psychic was about things that had happened in the house. When she told my mom about Michael, my mom said “Michael is the boy next door”. My sister later on went to Damon and said “You were right. The neighbor boy’s name is Michael”. He looked confused and said “No, the ghost is Michael”. So I guess Michael was talking to Michael. They talked about doing an investigation and my sister said “Well, my mom and my sister have wanted the Springfield Ghost Society to investigate for a long time, but my dad wouldn’t be very keen on that”. Damon does readings at Visions by JDR, and he and Dawn had done a few amateur investigations before from what my sister told me. Not long after that my dad ended up having to do an overnight in the hospital for tests (he has been really sick for the past few years and doesn’t get around much anymore). My mom and I agreed that it would be our only chance at an investigation during his lifetime. My sister called Dawn and she gathered up a team that included Damon the psychic. There were 4 investigators and 4 family members in the house. My sister Amy, one of the investigators, and Damon stayed downstairs initially. My mom, Kathe, Dawn, the other investigator and I went upstairs. Right off the bat they started getting EMF spikes. Dawn was filming while the other girl was using the EMF detector. We followed the rising EMF spike to my mom’s room (my old room that I loved sooo much). It stopped at the window. Right as the investigator said she lost the reading, we all heard 3 loud knocks come from below. We could feel the vibration of the knocks. It was like someone took a broom and thumped it on the ceiling below. 2 of us went down to ask the other 3 if they knocked on the ceiling. They had not knocked, and they did not hear the knocks. They knew that he liked nickels, so they left nickels out on pieces of paper in several places. The nickels had pencil tracings around them. They noted that several of the nickels had been disturbed from their circles, and some had even turned from heads to tails or vice versa. There was also a crucifix on my head board that apparently changed direction twice. They had digital tape recorders out for EVP captures. Damon, the psychic, would not go upstairs. He never said why. He did give some very accurate and insightful readings though. He said it was like a family reunion. There were so many people there that wanted to talk. I noticed very early on he put his hand to his head like he felt faint and said “wow, there is something here”. He never elaborated on that. We never got the full details on the investigation. They apparently got an EVP capture of someone saying “hello” from “the closet from hell”. What happened was that they had just downloaded the video to Dawn’s computer. They started reviewing it. It was the very beginning when we were first going upstairs. From what my sister was told you could hear the investigator say “Dawn I am getting some high EMF readings”, then something ran in front of the camera, and the computer crashed. She told my sister she was never able to recover the footage and that was the last we heard on it. Another strange thing was that they were there for about 2 hours. Her digital voice recorder was full by the time they left. It had 5 files that held quite a few hours of recording, and you have to switch to the next file manually. It was on the fifth file when she retrieved it and she started out on the first. There was no rational explanation for having over 2 days worth of recordings in 2 hours. I never had anymore contact with them. My sister didn’t have much contact with them after that either. I would have like to have known if there was anything that they could offer that wasn’t on the computer. EVP? Video from the camcorder itself? Oh well, I guess we will never know. I tried to get some of my own EVP captures. I left my digital voice recorder in the kitchen all night once. It’s over 6 hours of tape but there are a few things on there. I got a voice whispering what sounds like “hello, tell me”. There are sounds of footsteps on the stairs. There is a place that sounds like a woman saying “Tina” in a breathless whisper. Close to the end there is a voice that sounds like a little kid. I have been meaning to download it to my computer, but it’s taking the time to go through the tape again and highlighting those areas that is going to be tedious. I guess this is nothing new to you.I left it going in my room one night while I was asleep. There is a voice the sounds like an old woman saying “ooohh…Toootie”. My cat Mina’s original name was Tootie. Maybe the old owner still visits her.
When I have told these stories before to people that have never experienced the paranormal, or are skeptical, they of course want to assume that I had an over active imagination, or my psyche was influenced by a scary movie. That is definitely not the case. I was terrified of horror movies as a child, and was not allowed to watch them anyway. The closest I came to watching horror movies was at my cousin Barb's house, in which case I was told to go play with her daughter in the other end of the house. Because of what was happening to me at home, I had trouble realizing that they were not real. If I even caught a glimpse of a horror movie, I would lay awake all night convincing myself that the particular monster or villain was going to be one of those things in my room. I would even psychologically convince myself that they took control of my mother and even if I called her that it would not be her, but an imposter disguised as her. Experiencing paranormal stuff at an early age can have very bad effects on a child. Especially when not many people believe that you are experiencing the things that you are or that it's not really there. As an adult I now know that there are many other people that have gone through similar experiences. I now know that I am of healthy mind and I have never had any mental illnesses. There are just things that happen sometimes that people can’t explain through known science. Depending on the time and place, and how sensitive one is to the paranormal, sometimes people see things that other people don’t. It doesn’t make us weird or strange, or mentally ill, it just means we are using more of our senses than the average person does. When a skeptical person challenges my experiences these days, I usually reply “It’s ok, I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t lived through it either”.
My nephew Bradley had a couple of weird experiences in the closet that I saw the glowing faces in. He was about 4-5 years old when this happened to him, and he just turned 10 on October 14th, so it wasn't that long ago. He was playing hide and seek, and thought that burying himself under a bunch of blankets in that closet was a good idea (it's always during hide and seek, they never learn). He started pushing the blankets aside and burrowing in them, when something caught his eye way down in the corner. Now, what I forgot to tell you before was that this closet is part of the eves of the house. The back of the closet is slanted, and the corners of the floor are impossible for anything smaller than a cat to fit into. He said that what he saw was what he can only describe as a family, a mom, a boy like him, and a boy like Nick (our other newphew who was about 8 at the time). I think by this he was describing their ages the only way he knew how to. He called them the "uglies" and said their faces looked like Halloween masks. I wonder if these were the "yuckies" that Rachel spoke of when she was little.
He also remembers getting locked into "the closet from hell" with Rachel. It was a rainy day, and they were bored, so they thought playing a board game would be fun. All of the board games were in that closet because they rarely are played with anymore. Both were afraid to go into the closet alone, so they decided to go in together. Brad held watch at the front of the closet and Rachel went to the back to get some games. No one else was in the house but my mom, and she was baking in the kitchen downstairs. They aren't quite sure what happened and Brad was only about 6-7 years old. Rachel swears that Brad shut the door, but he was too far in the closet, and there is no handle on the inside of the door. There were no windows open to cause a draft, and the door is pretty solid. Whatever happened the door slammed shut on them, and they could not get out. My mom finally heard them stomping and screaming a few minutes later and came to their rescue.
Thanks for taking the time to listen….if you have gotten this far yet.