Since we started Damned Connecticut, we noticed that everyone seems to have a haunted house story. Oftentimes the stories we hear are second- or third-hand stories, which make them harder to take for gospel. When they are firsthand accounts, I tend to get the goosebumps and listen in a little more carefully.
Are these ghostly tales an accurate depiction of truth or–as I suspect–exaggerations? I think some may be lacking one crucial element that separates stories that have a perfectly reasonable explanation from those that could only be considered truly paranormal.
Take my (Steve’s) story…..
I grew up in a normal house in North Haven. Yet we did have some strange occurrences.
When I was little a little tadpole, my mother heard me playing in my room, and was startled because I was supposed to be at a neighborhood friend’s house playing. She went in to find my toys scattered about the floor but, of course, nobody was there.
Another night, my sister woke up everyone the house with her screaming. She said a small child was sitting at the end of her bed. She tried to scream but couldn’t, when the apparition disappeared she regained her lungs and woke the house.
I’ve had friends say they heard a small voice whispering from the upstairs. One friend, while house sitting, said he heard a lot of people walking around, and what sounded like furniture being moved around. I once saw a ball coming rolling down the stairs late at night while I watched TV.
My own experience happened in the middle of the night–I heard three bangs on the wall behind me and then saw a grey mist move out of the wall above me and another to my right. I tried to get out of bed but couldn’t. When it left, I got up and went downstairs and slept on the couch. I fell right asleep. I would think if this was not just a dream, I wouldn’t have rested so well, and would have awakened the house. Yet to this day, I’ve never awakened from a dream without knowing I had dreamt. I’ve never walked in my sleep. But it very well may have been a dream…I really can’t say for sure.
Some time in the ’90s, my father began removing installation from the eaves that run behind my room (the same room that my sister had her episode in) and he stumbled upon a door. The room beyond the door was very small, maybe 5 to 7 inches wide and only 4 feet high. The kicker: he found children’s toys in the room–toy soldiers, animals, and puzzle pieces….and on top of that, he found some of my toys in this small room, a room that was buried in installation when we moved in. I found my Luke Skywalker figurine…doll… and some 1975 baseball cards.
How did my toys pass through installation that had been hanging untouched for 40 years or more? This is inexplicable!
Except I lied…I just told you the story I told many times over cans of cold Black Label in my high school years. The finding of my toys in this room is the kicker in the story, it locks it up, it makes it inexplicable. But while everything I told you before that point was true, my toys were not found in the small secret room. Some other child’s toys were in there, but not mine. A small lie, but one that seals the story. What’s the big deal if 99% of my story is true, right?
Hey, everyone loves a good ghost story. But, really, everything I said, until I talked about finding my toys in the secret room, could be explained. Now take my story and play the “telephone game” with it and … it could become the thing of legends!
However, I don’t think all stories are told just to be told from the mouths of people who love the paranormal and the creepy….people like, well, us.
One more quick one…
A close friend of mine grew up in a house built right before the Revolution, in North Haven–a big spooky house with years of history. What stories did he and his family have about the paranormal in this house?
None, nothing, zilch. I stayed there many times and never had the unease I experienced in my own 1940s home. Yet when the family moved into a new condo, things started happening. The father swore he had his name called loud as day to him when he entered the house, yet nobody was home. I knew this man well, and he was not one who believed in the paranormal. Even after he told me his story, I’m not sure he believed in the paranormal. He wasn’t one to embellish a story, either.
Yet there were other things that happened in the house that were … interesting.
A family that lived in a house that could have produced a fib or two produced none, yet a new condo produced a few.
Was my house haunted? I don’t know, things in the house have slowed down, my parents still live there and don’t seem to have heard anything odd in years. I still get a little creeped out feeling there, something just isn’t exactly right. Maybe it’s high EMF, who knows?
A ghost story needs a hook, and I’ve got to guess that I’m not the only one who added a little sauce to the punch to tell a good one.
Either way, we want to hear your stories, or even your friends’ stories. Please email us your best and we will try again to get them online. If you have added a white lie to a story, let me know; it’s all in good fun in my opinion, so let’s hear from you guys.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or post a story here in the blog.