When I was around 12 or so my Dad and Step-mom moved into an old plantation home with my two stepbrothers and half brother. I visited on the weekends. I was always superstitious and wondered if when seeing the house for the first time I was letting my imagination get the best of me.
It was a beautiful home - in it's prime and when we lived there. At the same time it was also the type of place that looks like the often described haunted house. It was so large that one whole wing of it was not even used. It was a rental, owned by a family that also were the only undertakers in a very small town. I never liked the house at night - in the day it was ok - but no matter what time it was I always had this feeling that someone was watching me. I never felt completely relaxed. Sometimes I was so scared at night that I would sweat while trying to fall asleep.
My first personal experience was early on. My oldest brother had a few friends over and suddenly, about a half hour after falling asleep, I heard the piano start to play. The piano was not an automatic player and it was in the part of the house that was closed off. But since there were teenagers the next morning at breakfast I asked who was playing the piano late. No one. No one was even in the part of the house. It was only accessible through my parent's room and they were in bed at the time. My Dad told me not to let my imagination run wild. So I brushed it off.
Then, a few months later, my little brother was slapped on the back while he was sleeping. It even left a bruise. He woke up screaming and horrified. He described the hand as being like our grandfather's, dry and large. The two younger boys shared a room so my parents suggested that my older brother had done it as a prank. My little brother quickly shot down that idea and took up for my other brother. Which was very rare. My little brother didn't sleep without a shirt for a very long time after that.
Then my Dad, who only believes when he sees, woke up one night to see a little boy standing at the foot of their bed. He first thought it was my little brother, so he followed him up the stairs to get him back to bed. When my Dad turned the corner he saw the little boy disappear into the wall and looked in my little brother's room to find him sound asleep.
On one of my weekend visits I was sleeping in my little brother's room and after turning the lights off we started to hear scratching on the walls. It got louder and louder until we asked each other to stop playing around as we were already paranoid about various occurrences. When we realized that it was neither of us I got the courage to jump up to turn the light on and run to our parents' room. We slept in their floor that night.
My grandparents came to checkup on things when we went on vacation one year and when they went into the house a few of the TVs and radios were on. We had not left anything on, my Dad and I were the last ones out of the house.
What ultimately sealed the deal for me was the tape, the audio tape. One of my brother's and I loved to sing together. One Friday afternoon when I came over for my visit we opened a brand new tape. We stuck it in the player and hit record. We started singing. There was no sound other than our singing. When we played the tape back there were what seemed to be voices and moans on the tape and absolutely crazy sounds. A lot of it sounded like slurred speech, or what is now described as white noise. We couldn't believe it. When my Dad got home we played it for him and he said that it was passing traffic. This house sat off the road and there wasn't that much traffic out there. Besides at my age I knew what traffic sounded like. And I saw my Dad's face as he looked at my Step-mom while giving us his explanation. He knew it wasn't traffic. This was a brand new tape!
I mentioned that the family who owned the property were undertakers. I later found out that they put old funeral home carpet down in the house. I'm all for recycling, but come on. I wonder now if that had something to do with everything. Besides it was an old plantation and there had been several documented deaths in the house over the last 100 years.
Fast forward 15 years. My Dad will now admit that the house was haunted. We often share stories of the house over dinner when we all get together. Now we can look back and almost joke about it. It made true believers out of all of us.
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