The Phoenix

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spooky Story Four: A Skeptic's Experience

I hope you've enjoyed this year's Spooky Stories Series, and I decided to save the best for last.

The following story was told to me by a good friend. He will remain anonymous, but I assure you that this is his personal, first-hand experience. Before he told me this incredible account of his very scary run-in with the supernatural, he explained that he was a big-time skeptic. Anything paranormal, he immediately discounted. In fact, he and his wife were both atheists.

Although he does not practice any sort of religion, he now doubts that death is truly the end.

Here is "Tom's" story:

In 1986, my wife and I were expecting our first baby. We had lived in an apartment, and thought having a real house would be a better place to raise a family. We didn't have a lot of money for a down payment, so we decided to rent a home first - with a portion of our rent going towards the purchase of the house. We found a great little town just outside of Kansas City. It had the feel of a small town, but had all the stores and businesses all conveniently there.

Our new home was a charming Victorian, built in 1900. It had three bedrooms, one bath, and a detached garage. It even had a yard which we thought we would fence-in later. We were excited, and we thought this started-home was perfect for us.

Early on, some very strange things happened. Lights would flicker off and on, and rooms would suddenly get very cold. I thought that all of this was from living in an old drafty house. Maybe when the heater kicked on, it would make the lights blink - or maybe a lack of insulation made a room cold when the winter wind blew.

Neither of us believed in any of that ghost shit. In fact, we didn't believe in any sort of afterlife at all. Ghosts, spirits, hauntings - it was all bullshit. But living in this house, we started to wonder.

I'm a big time checker. I check, double-check, triple-check stuff before we go to bed or leave the house. One night, my wife and I were going to go out to dinner and a movie. My wife went to our garage to wait in the car while I went through my ritual. I checked the gas stove, the lights, the back door, etc. I did leave one light in the living room on - just so we wouldn't come home to a completely dark house. All was perfect, and so we left to go on our "date."

Three hours later, as we pulled up to the house, we knew something was wrong. The porch light was on. When we got inside, we freaked out when we could see that every single light in our house was now on. Not just the light fixtures, but ALL the lights - including the lamps, and closet light bulb. My wife grabbed the phone, thinking we had been robbed while we were out. But after doing a quick sweep, we saw no sign of a robbery.

We also noticed that a few appliances were on as well. The empty dishwasher was going and the TV in the living room was on.

There was no explanation for this, and we didn't really try to find one.

In the next few months, all kinds of weird stuff happened: footsteps in the hall at night, we would hear doors shut on their own, and our keys would constantly go missing. All of these did have a reasonable explanation, however.

When my wife was six months pregnant, we had an experience that forced us to leave the house immediately and permanently.

One night, we were both completely asleep. Suddenly, we heard a woman screaming downstairs. It was an angry scream, and then she was sobbing. I turned on the light, and my wife and I looked at each other in horror. We heard a man yelling; it sounded like he was yelling at the woman, telling her to stop crying. The lady screeched back at him, and the man's booming voice yelled right back.

Our immediate thought was that people had broken into our house and were now arguing in our living room. My wife hid in the closet while I grabbed the baseball bat from under the bed to chase out the intruders. As I ran down the small hallway and down the steps, I was screaming bloody murder like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. I was hoping my fury would scare the burglers away. The man and woman were still screaming at each other, and when I reached the bottom of the steps, I heard a forceful "Shhhhhhhhhh!"

When I turned the corner, the living room was still. I fumbled for the light switch and hit it. The living room was just as I had left it - no intruders. With my aluminum bat, I did a search throughout the first floor for any sign of the angry, arguing couple - and found nothing. All the doors were locked, the windows were shut. TV and radio both off.

What the hell?

If I had been home alone, I would've easily explained that I must've been dreaming and jolted myself awake. That happens to everyone. The dream feels real, and for the first few seconds upon waking up, you're still sort of dreaming. But I know I was wide awake. And my wife had heard exactly what I had heard: a man and woman screaming at each other in what sounded like our living room.

The idea that we had heard disembodied voices in our house terrified us.

We had had enough. All of the strange experiences in the house put together was just too much. My wife was pregnant, and this was not the kind of house to bring a baby home to.

So we left.

We lost our $300 deposit and six months worth of rent, but we felt it was worth it.

But our story doesn't end there. Fast forward nearly 20 years later to 2004.

My wife and I were at a party held by my co-worker. In the course of the evening, there was a couple sitting at the breakfast table talking about having lived in a haunted house ten years ago. Of course we had to listen. They spoke of the usual stuff - creepy sounds, cold spots, doors slamming. But the wife said that she saw a man's ghost in the living room, and from what I could tell, she was still terrified from that experience.

Someone asked where this house was, and it was the very same house my wife and I had lived in 18 years ago! We sat down and began talking about our own experiences in that same house, and the other couple had heard a man and woman screaming at each other too.

Being able to compare "notes" and really corroborate our experiences was so validating to us. Now I know for a fact we weren't crazy, and that what we heard and saw was REAL.

Even to this day, I'm a skeptic - but at the same time, I'm not so easily dismissive. From my own personal experiences, no one can tell me that we had just imagined it, or give us any other sort of ordinary explanation. To me, there is no doubt that for nearly six months, my wife and I lived in a real haunted home.

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Blogger The Egg said...

Ooooh I know I'm not crazy now! As I've mentioned earlier, I also experienced the paranormal in our old rented house. I lived in the apartment over the garage. Light bulbs were constantly exploding, it was cold all the time.. I left for the main house when the intercom went off by itself. Not sure if this is a weird sign, but a few days before the intercom incident, birds flocked to the roof..tons of them. It was too much. It was around the same time that I had much stress. I thought I was in the Wizard of Oz! Happy Halloween! Thanks for the spooky story.

10/29/2007 11:08 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

10 years ago I lived in the house of a man who committed suicide. I did not know this at the time, but I did know that my remote control was ALWAYS missing, then when I had given up hope, it would mysteriously show up on the kitchen counter. I had also found objects, coins actually, that would just appear, usually in the corner on the floor. A New York subway token, a coin from Panama.... Coins from places I had never been nor planned on being.

10/29/2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

And now you've scared me!

10/29/2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger cube said...

My youngest daughter watched a marathon of Scariest Places On Earth over the weekend & the poor thing has had trouble sleeping every night since.

Me, I'm still waiting to see something pananormal for myself. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for...

10/29/2007 12:49 PM  
Blogger jenn said...

Wow. This was creepy. Got chills and everything.

10/29/2007 2:31 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I wonder if landlords and real estate sales people are not allowed to tell prospective renters/buyers that a house is haunted? I would want to know before moving in. Well, if I did know, I'm sure I wouldn't move in!

10/29/2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

egg, I never thought you were crazy. Sounds like you had some weird stuff happen to you!

sherri, OK, that is some weird stuff too. I wonder if the guy was a coin collector?
Aren't you about ready to have yourself a baby any day???

angel, Sweet dreams my friend.

cube, That's what my friend told me to. He always thought that unless he had a personal experience, it just wasn't valid. Well now, he knows for sure.

jenn, I had the chills last week when we were sitting down to lunch and he was telling me this story. I could tell that his experience really scared the hell out of him.

KC, I think there's a lot of debate about this very topic. I believe if someone had died very recently in the house, the agent has to disclose. But as far as paranormal activity, unless the seller insists on sharing that, you could end up buying a haunted home.

There are people that buy haunted homes exclusively. They are just plain nuts.

10/29/2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

You know, it's bad enough having ghosts in your house, but for those ghosts to loudly fight? That's just plain rude.

I wonder if they had brought a couple's counselor in for the ghosts if that would have helped?

10/29/2007 4:52 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

foen, do your Halloween decorations show up on google map???

and, stop using that picture of my house in your posts!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps. I was in my apt in Austin years ago, in the evening, suddenly the room got ice cold, I said to Toby ("person in a dog suit") "there's death in this room. We left. Early the next morning I got a call that a close friend had been killed in a gruesome traffic accident <==all true

zponkuzu<==most common surname in Zambia

10/29/2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

November 19th is D day! (delivery day LOL)

10/30/2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

Your friend is much more brave than I am...I wouldn't have stayed as long as he did!

I'm a big chicken!!!

Thanks for the story. :)

10/30/2007 12:23 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Something NASTY happened in that house...they were smart to leave!


10/30/2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

You're right--you did save the best for last! What a fun story ... I love Halloween tales.

And Halloween tails, but that's a different story.

-- david

10/31/2007 6:13 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Part of me is skeptic, part of me isn't. All I know is that if I expercienced anything funkified like that in a house I lived in, I would be out of there in a second!!! Yikes!

10/31/2007 7:40 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

WG, Maybe Dr. Phil can hold a seance.

jim, I don't do anything more than a couple pumpkin carvings. But if you remember, I do get carried away when making a homemade costume.

Your story is pretty creepy.

sherri, Wow. You could go at any minute!

pissy, They dismissed the other stuff for about six months. But the ghostly arguing was it for them.

dabich, Sounds like a married couple didn't get along, and that negative energy is still hanging around.

david, Do tell.

stacy, I think you've got it right. You have to be very skeptical. The fact that this experience was told by a person that didn't believe in ANYTHING prior says a lot.

10/31/2007 8:17 AM  
Blogger Tai said...


10/31/2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Nessa said...

Wow, that's amazing. I'm glad our ghost doesn't do all of that. He's just a quiet old man that doesn't feel like moving on.

10/31/2007 3:34 PM  
Blogger Sassy Blondie said...

Cool story, Phoenix! I'm quite a skeptic myself, however...

10/31/2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Sassy Blondie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/31/2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Fated said...

Phew that story gave me goosebumps. It sounds like something straight out of a horror movie. Well I suppose in a horror movie they wouldn't have had the sense to move out after that. Or, at very least, they would have gone back to the house after meeting the other couple. Followed by terror and perhaps a bloodbath. People in horror movies are terribly silly.

11/01/2007 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Are you TRYING to give me heartattack? I think you're trying to.

11/01/2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Mr. Shife said...

Very spooky. I got some chills for sure. If I experienced this I know for sure I would be a full-blown alcoholic. This would freak me out real good.

11/02/2007 10:36 AM  
Blogger Etchen said...

Holy crap is that freaky that it was the same house! You did save the best for last--I can't wait for next year to read more of them!

11/02/2007 2:17 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Oh, BOY!! You really did save the best for last!

How creeepy!
This story should be told on TV because it has the corraborating evidence of that other couple who lived in the same house, years later. I find this more credible than most things I've seen on other shows dealing with the paranormal.

Thanks for sharing such a cool story with us!!

11/04/2007 2:18 PM  

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Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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