GHOST HUNTERS and paranormal researchers go out of their way to find haunted locations to explore and investigate. Some people, however, don’t have to go searching for ghosts… the ghosts are already present, all around them – in their own house. This is the case for Tori V. and her family, who occupy an 18th Century house that apparently is also occupied by several spectral entities. This is Tori’s story.
I have always considered myself lucky to have grown up in a true haunted house. My grandparents have lived in a 200-year-old New England style Cape house for over fifty years. This house, which I considered my nana’s house, is located where I grew up in central New Hampshire. The house was built in the late 1700s and has been everything from a farm to a restaurant and speakeasy.
Alice, the “imaginary” friend
Throughout my lifetime (I’m now 28), I have lived there myself, off and on. From a very early age, both my sister and I knew that there was something just not right around the place.
I remember being around three years old, and I was standing in my crib crying for my mother, thinking that something was in the room with me, watching me. At the time there was only one bathroom in the house, located at the top of the stairs on the second floor. There are also four bedrooms upstairs. Two on either side of the hallway and a door leading to another staircase that leads to the attic. Both my sister and I refused to go upstairs alone, and up until the age of ten or so we always made somebody stand at the bottom of the stairs to watch us while we went to the bathroom – with the door open, of course.
My mother also said that when I was two or three I had an imaginary friend named Alice. I was constantly playing with Alice and talking about her. Well, suddenly I stopped talking about Alice and my mother asked me why. I replied, “She died.” Now we both wonder weather “Alice” was really imaginary or was a ghost.
I also remember playing outside on my swing set and staring upstairs at the attic window. I could swear that somebody was up there watching me. When I was nine I began to read ghost stories and was completely enthralled by them. So I wasn’t surprised when my mother told me that Nana’s house was haunted. She began to tell me all kinds of stories about things that she and my uncles experienced growing up there. She told me about seeing a man in her mirror once when she was little. He had a moustache and those old-fashioned arm band garters holding up his sleeves.
The ghosts’ pranks
My grandmother never has had a driver’s license and was a stay-at-home homemaker. My mother had a horse growing up, and when she and her brothers were at school my nana would go out to water the horse and put it out to pasture. She was returning to the house after doing this and found that she couldn’t open the door to get in. She ended up going through a window and found that “something” had locked the deadbolt!
She was a bit spooked, but by this time everybody in the house had experienced some kind of weird happening.
The next nana she went out to take care of the horse again. She returned to the house, turned the door knob, but the door wouldn’t budge. She again climbed through the window and found that “something” had taken the old heating vent out of the floor in the living room, moved it across the house and set it in front of the door in the kitchen. Well, you can imagine that she was pretty freaked out and she called her neighbor to come get her until my grandpa got home.
Another incident took place when my grandpa was in the barn skinning a deer. He took his best hunting knife and stuck it into the wall. He reached down to grab something, then reached to retrieve his knife – and it was gone! He searched that barn up and down and to this day he has never found it!
The bearded old man
My parents got divorced when I was fourteen and my mother, sister and baby brother moved into my grandparents’ haunted house. I had always spent a lot of time with my nana and grandpa anyway, being their first born grandchild, but when the three of us children moved into the house, boy, did the spooks start acting up!
I have always heard that spirits feed off energy from children. It was during this time that I saw my first apparition.
I was fast asleep in my bed when I woke suddenly. I heard the chimes of the clock downstairs and looked at my alarm clock. It was exactly midnight. I had this strange feeling of being watched. I looked to the foot of my bed, and there was this white mist. It was shaped like a person, but I couldn’t make out any features. In my head I knew that it was an old man with a white beard. I was quite scared. I flipped onto my stomach and put my pillow over my head. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night!
Many things have happened over the years. The usual haunting stuff. Things disappearing and then reappearing in a place that you had already looked one thousand times. Strange whiffs of old-fashioned perfume. A music box playing in the middle of the night.
Ghosts of children and evil clowns
My mother had started running her horse business out of the barn at this time. She boarded horses and gave riding lessons. There were always children running about the place.
One day when we were all at a horse show, my grandpa came downstairs and started complaining to my nana about people needing to watch their children, that he was not running a babysitting service. My nana told him, “There aren’t any kids here today. Everybody is at the horse show.”
“Well, there’s a little blonde girl running around outside,” grandpa said.
“Well,” my nana assured him, “there’s nobody here.”
This was not the first time that the little blonde girl had been seen. One day my five-year-old brother and one of my mother’s riding students saw a little girl looking down at them from the upstairs window.
My brother also talked about seeing an evil clown in the kitchen. The weird thing is that when I was little my mother said that I talked about seeing a mean clown upstairs in my room!
The psychic sees them
My mother had just started giving these two little boys riding lessons and their mother said to my mom, “You have a lot of entities around here.”
“Entities?” my mom asked.
“Yes,” the woman said. “Ghosts. I see them.” Well, she had the sixth sense. She began to tell my mother that she was a physic. She had worked with police in Massachusetts to find missing people. She said that every time she came to the house she saw two little boys’ spirits playing outside. She also said that the place was some type of spiritual vortex, where spirits come and go.
One night we asked this psychic to come over and go though the house. She said that there were four main spirits in the house. “Edward” was one. He was the shadow we always saw in the hallway and on the stairs. One time I was racing through the house to go upstairs to go to the bathroom. All of a sudden, a black shadow passed in front of me and stopped me dead in my tracks! I could see right through it! It passed in front of me and went through the closet door! My nana also saw it. The closet at one time had been a hallway leading to the other side of the house.
This woman said that this was “Edward” and that he had never lived in the house, but that he had been a family friend of someone that had lived there. He had been a lonely person and chose to come back to this house because he had happy memories there. She also said he was the most interested in us and wanted us to know he liked us.
She also came up with the name Violet Means. She wasn’t sure if this was the little girl or a teenage girl that she said was there. She also said there was an older lady who liked to be helpful around the house.
This same year, my mother remarried and my new step-father had some of his friends and their teenage boy stay over one night. He was a city boy and he became bored quickly. He slept on the couch in the family room. In the middle of the night his beeper went off. He checked the number and went into the kitchen to use the phone. When he turned around, he said he saw three “things” sitting around the kitchen table.
In the morning when we got up he told us, “You’ve got some strange things in this house, and I want to go home!” We had never mentioned anything about our ghosts to him. He never did come back to the house, even when his parents did.
I could go on forever about the strange things that have happened in that house. We have never felt threatened by these spirits and they really have become part of the family. We feel like they protect the house and us.
Pinched by bony fingers
One last note and probably the strangest story of all.
My grandparents have been wintering in Florida for the last ten years. They come home to New Hampshire in April and stay until October. Two years ago, before they were getting ready to return to Florida, my nana was upstairs in one of the bedrooms on her computer. All of a sudden, she was pinched in the back by what she described as long bony fingers.
Now my nana has lived in this house for fifty-two years, and this was the first time she had ever been really scared. She wouldn’t even go upstairs without my grandpa for about two weeks!
This was not the first time that “it” has touched her. Many times she has felt something brush past her in the kitchen. But this time it really shook her up.
“Nana, it’s probably Edward trying to tell you that he doesn’t want you to leave,” I told her. Not that it matters, because my grandpa swears that the “spooks,” as he calls them, follows them to Florida.