When living in a home and neighborhood with a tremendous amount of history, it's hard to think about the lives that have passed through the doors and existed within the walls without also considering the idea that some of these entities may still be a part of the neighborhood fabric long after they're gone.

As daylight turns to darkness earlier in the night, and the prerequisite nip in the air is felt a little more each day, so too is the Halloween season. As has been tradition over the last several years, we like take this time to share with you a spooky tale or two about some of things that go bump in the night.

These aren't far fetched hearsay of poltergeists, tales of campy Old Town inhabitants, or stories of outright terror and fright, but instead are comprised of experiences and events we or our neighbors have been directly privy to. Let me preface our stories by saying that this is not a testament to our belief that our, or another's, house is any way haunted or otherwise occupied by a spirit, ghoul, or otherworldly energy. Nor is the telling of the details a snide dismissal of things we or others have experienced for the purpose of blog fodder. Rather, our descriptions are simply accounts of events and circumstances presented for your assessment, review, and amusement, and it comes at an all too appropriate time of the year.

In years past we've shared with you all of the odd details and experiences we've encountered surrounding the events we now lovingly attribute to a possible resident apparition, "Mrs. Bryan," the original 19th century owner of our home. For all we know, she may very well still keep a watchful eye over us and our projects.

Whether she's looking out for us and helping prevent damage from encroaching water, ensuring we know her feelings as they pertain to the selection of an appropriate style of historically accurate front steps, or keeping us on our toes by reprogramming our lights, the idea that her presence is felt, if only to remind us she's around, is not a definitive statement that her haunt is real, but instead a series of gentle reminders that we may not be alone in our home.

Lately, Wendy and I haven't heard or seen much in the way of Mrs. Bryan, and we began to speculate that, perhaps, she had left us, happy with our progress, and decided to move on.

The part of me that doesn't believe in ghosts realizes this is just talk. We mention Mrs. Bryan because it's fun, because we have an old house, because everyone wants to know if our old house is haunted...

While I'm wholly skeptical of the idea of a haunting spirit, there's a part of me that wants our visitor to be real. That part of me believes that, if it's possible, I'd surely stay around our house after I'm gone. That part of me is also a little sad at the idea that Mrs. Bryan could up and leave us just because she's satisfied with our progress.

Everything seemed pretty normal for some time and quiet in the way of spook induced behavior, until about a month and a half ago after Wendy mentioned aloud "You know, I don't think Mrs. Bryan is still around." It was nothing major, but subtle things started to act differently. Light switches in certain rooms started controlling lights in other rooms. I'd turn on two lights in the kitchen and sometimes only one would turn on. At other times we'd shut lights off only to have them turn back on a few minutes later. However, these are all items we can chalk up to smarthome automation. That is, until a normal, everyday dimmer switch controlled light started exhibiting the same behavior. Oh, and the other light on the same switch...yeah, it wasn't turning on or off.

I know this sounds a little strange, and it's probably hard to really grasp what was happening without seeing it, so we went ahead and got a video of it for you. Take a look and see what you think.

Since the day the "light event" occurred it's not happened again. I haven't touched the light switch, wiring, or lights since that day, but it just stopped happening as quickly as it started. Could it have been Mrs. Bryan letting us know that she's still around, still watching over us and the house?

While we like to focus on our own home and stories, it's important to realize that there are many stories that pertain to our neighborhood as a whole. A number of homes within our immediate surrounding blocks are 100-200+ years old, and each owner possesses their own stories. Sitting down and hearing about neighborhood tales is always interesting and gives great insight into what could be.

One of our neighbors and very good friends has a extremely creepy story involving a specific area in their house along their staircase and landing that highlights just what I'm talking about.

The whole series of events started shortly after they purchased their home in 1998, a small two bedroom house of an undetermined but very old age (approximately 1850's it's believed). Their young daughter was only a few years old at the time, but she's always had a very vivid imagination. One day, when talking about something innocuous, their daughter mentioned a "woman in white" that had visited her at night in the hallway.

Chalking her description up to her active imagination, they didn't think much of it and went on with their day. However, this wasn't her only mention of this lady. Over the proceeding years their daughter would occasionally mention the woman and the conversations she had with her, but it became less and less frequent as she got older until she simply stopped talking about her by about the age of six. Her parents reasoned it away as just a child's imagination, but it always stuck with them in the back of their mind.

During this time the couple had their second child, a boy. As he grew up they could see just how different of a personality he was to his sister, but there was one similarity that jumped out to them one day when he was about three years old. One day, when talking to his parents about his night's sleep, he mentioned that he was being kept up at night by "a woman in a white dress in the hallway that wanted to talk to him."

Floored, his parents immediately recalled the conversations they'd had with his sister years earlier, and how eerily similar their account of the mysterious stranger was. Not wanting to call attention to the event, they didn't pry more than to make sure he knew not to do anything this person might ask him to do. But both of this young boy's parents were shocked and couldn't believe what they were hearing.

By this point, the older girl didn't even recall her conversations or interactions with the woman with whom she'd interacted, but the boy's conversations continued. At one point, while up late one night, the boy's mother heard him in the hallway talking to nobody. She could only hear one side of a conversation clearly being carried on by two people, one of which was her son. The other side of the conversation was silent to her, but her son was clearly telling the person he was talking to that he couldn't do what she was asking because his parents would be mad.

No sooner than she got to the hallway was her son turned and walking back into his room. The next morning the boy's mother asked him how he slept and if he wanted to tell her anything. His response was simple, "Fine, I didn't do anything, just went back to bed."

After that night the boy never mentioned the woman in white again, and as he got older he lost all memory of her. To this day, he and his sister make no mention of the woman and their parent's attempts to determine if they recall her (in a roundabout line of questioning) are typically met with blank teenager stares. However, the house next door has been home to a series of good friends of ours that have each had cats. One evening, while spending some time with the neighbors, the conversation led to this story of the woman in white. As it turns out, the neighbor house's staircase is directly adjacent to the location where both of the kids had interacted with their woman in white, and both neighbors's cats would sit in precisely this spot and loudly meow at the wall.

It's said that children and animals have a heightened sense or perception of the supernatural. Is it possible that these two kids and the neighbor's pets were able to sense a presence of a spirit that still roamed the hallway or staircases of the houses? Perhaps the kids no longer saw the woman in white as they matured and grew out of this perceptive phase of their lives. Will we ever hear of another run-in with the woman in white? And if so, will we find out either what she is trying to do or why she's still around? Only time will tell. But I'll tell you one thing for sure, I'm intrigued!

Do you have any stories of unexplained events in your home? Or maybe a house in your neighborhood that's rumored to be haunted? If so, we'd love to hear all about it. We hope you all enjoy your day and have a Happy Halloween!

Comments 9

Comments

10/31/2013 at 9:38 AM

Super creepy story.

10/31/2013 at 1:51 PM

That's awesome and super duper creepy.

Jan
10/31/2013 at 2:09 PM

I'm on Ancestry.com, if you want more info on Mrs. Bryan.

Kelly C.
10/31/2013 at 3:51 PM

OH my gosh, that just made the hair on my arms stand up. That would freak me out if my kids started saying something like that.

Kelsey
10/31/2013 at 6:58 PM

I love these stories! I like to keep an open mind on these sort of things. Perhaps there's a rational explanation for your blinking lights and the kids' woman in white, but but without proof one way or the other, who's to say the cause isn't supernatural? Thanks for the Halloween spine tingle!

11/2/2013 at 1:34 PM

This Halloween I have watched so many horror films that I was afraid of everything and now I am afraid to stay alone at home even in the daylight. This lady in white looks really terrible as if she is alive.

Christina
11/4/2013 at 1:07 PM

I love a good ghost story--thanks for sharing! Have you tried to match your blinking lights with Morse code? I don't know anything about Morse, but it could be message. Wouldn't that be a kick!

threadbndr (karla)
11/15/2013 at 1:39 PM

Sorry for the long absence from commenting - work, you got to have it, but.....

THE Bungalow is strangely absent of ghosts, but my son's house (formerly my parents) has what we always have thought is the sprit of a little girl, about 6 or so. Toys move, nothing else, just small toys.

A scattering of Barbie shoes where they were in a closed box on the shelf, a ball that rolls AGAINST the slope of the floor. A lego tower knocked over when the dog was downstairs. Things like that. And it only happens when there is a child under ten in the house.

But, on the other hand, it's been happening for three generations now (my sister was four when we moved in, my son stayed over frequently when my husband and I were both working odd shifts/traveled for business, and now my grandkids live there).

1/21/2016 at 1:11 AM

Very interesting. We've had some odd things in our home as well. At one point I did think your lights signaled SOS, not sure of the rest of it. Has anybody ever stopped to figure that out. That would be very interesting, but spooooooooky!

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