Strange Intruder

The other day, I was busy editing my first novel. Sitting at my desk in the living room, my cat curled up on the coffee table taking his midday constitutional when a noise disturbed both of us.

There was a growl in the dining room.

A long low growl as though some very large dog had gotten into the house and was trying to hide under the dining table.

The cat immediately yowled and headed for the nearest exit, staring warily into the dining room trying to locate the intruder.

Hearing the sound in the otherwise quiet house was a little unsettling and I wondered if perhaps the kitchen door had been left open – or blown open knowing the condition of the old door – and went into the dining room to investigate.

There was nothing there, hiding under the table or behind the hutch. Nothing.

Looking into the kitchen, I saw the door was closed as tightly as it should have been on a chilly day.

I listened again, cocking my head one way and then the other, trying to listen for any more growling, breathing, or anything else that would lend a clue to where or what it was.

No luck. The sound did not repeat.

The cat came over to rub against my leg, waiting for some reassurance that sanity did, indeed, prevail.

Soon, the strange moment passed, and the cat and I resumed our familiar perches to get back to what we had been doing. He sleeping and me, editing.

It was the first instance of an animal sound in the house. Except, of course, for those sounds made by our cat.

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Just Another Haunted House

We live a very old house in an historic district in Northern Virginia’s Mosby country.

There is a window in the upper room that opens and closes itself on occasion, and without apparent regularity.

However, there are “repeaters” in the house.

Every morning at 9:15am, regular as clockwork, you can hear footsteps going up the staircase.

They don’t go all the way up, just a few steps and then stop.

But it happens every day.

And, every so often, you can see a ghostly figure moving through the dining room. Usually out of the corner of your eye. But if you look quick enough you can see the figure before it fades completely out.

There have been a couple of ghost hunts done in the house and visitations by a couple of psychics but we have never been able to “make contact” with whoever is still hanging around the property.

We are quite comfortable living with whoever it is. We don’t interfere with them and they don’t bother us, unduly.

Well, except on those very cold days when that damned window opens and the arctic blast drifts down the stairs.


Things that Go Boomp in the Night

Last year I was invited to an overnight ghosthunting adventure in Front Royal, Virginia. A local ghosthunting group (called VAPR – the Virginia Paranormal Research) was doing an investigation of the historical Balthis House. We assembled at the property at sunset and got all the equipment ready to roll.

Then we were in the dark for the next eight hours.

There were noises throughout the night but nothing we could find a source for and – of course! – the batteries on all the hand-held equipment had to be continuously swapped out with fresh ones as the power was drained. It was a long night chasing the chimera.

But after reviewing all the “evidence” gathered from the house, we had nothing. No ghostly apparitions, no creepy voices caught on tape, nothing.

When they investigated the famous Belle Boyd House, there was a lot more to write about.

I started ghosthunting when I was very young, having lived in some interesting places, and I’ll get into those along the way, I am sure.

But everyone has a fireside story to swap, and I invite yours.