The home I now live in was purchased by my paternal grandparents in the early 1930's. It is over one hundred years old, and has witnessed much in its span of existence–probably more than we will ever really know. Located in rural Southwest Virginia, it is a typical two story, turn of the century farmhouse, with a half-basement, dug sometime after my grandparents purchased the house and surrounding land. The original household consisted of my grandfather and grandmother,their two sons,(my father, Jim, and his younger brother, Kenneth) and Granny and Pappy, my grandmother's parents.
From the beginning, it was obvious to the family that they were not completely alone in their new home. Pappy, an avid smoker, was disallowed (by Granny, of course) from smoking anywhere in the house except the kitchen. Often, Pappy would rise from his bed, and make a late night trip to the kitchen for a “toke” or two. While sitting there, by the old wood stove, he would often get the feeling that he was not alone. To further accentuate this feeling, he would often catch the aroma of cherry-blend pipe tobacco in the air. Not being a pipe smoker, he found it strange, indeed.
Many of the strange occurrences have been experienced by most of the family members, at one time or the other. Each generation has had its initiation into the strange phenomena here, and, for the better part, take them in stride. Doors have the disturbing habit of not staying locked. It is not unusual for the family to secure the doors at night, only to find them unlocked, and even ajar the next morning. My grandfather went as far as to replace the entire door, not only the locks, on several different occasions, but to no avail.
Unexplained footsteps have been heard throughout the family's tenure at the house, usually, descending the second floor stairs, accompanied by the sound of the front door opening, then closing, as if someone had left the house. Other times, the scenario will reverse, with sounds of an opening, then closing door, followed by footsteps ascending the stairs. Often a family member will be sitting quietly in a room, alone, and hear someone enter, perhaps sitting in a nearby chair. Turning to speak to whomever has entered, they are startled to find themselves still very much alone.
Late at night, the smell of cooking will drift upstairs to the bedrooms– the scent of fresh brewed coffee, fried potatoes and onions, ham, etc. I have often been awakened by the enticing odors.
There have been strange crashes, as though some heavy object has fallen. Nothing will be out of place. There are times that objects will vanish, usually to turn up later, in some odd, out of the way place. Missing hosiery has been found in the freezer, a pair of wire framed glasses, belonging to no one in the family, have appeared in one of the bedrooms, along with various other odd appearances/disappearances.
Our ghost has manifested himself to the eye only infrequently, but he has been seen. I myself have been a witness to his appearance. But that is another story, to be told at a later date.
This entity has “lived” in our home for longer than we, ourselves, have, and has become an accepted part of our lives. Accepted, yes, but with the ability to send a shiver down our spines every once in a while.
© Paulette Boyd
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