I was recently pulled into an Internet ghost-story vortex. It all started when I read an article about alleged murderer Luka Magnotta’s apartment, and how it was recently leased to an unsuspecting new tenant.
I then read a huge number of commenter responses, many of which detailed readers’ own experiences living in or touring houses that had been the scene of a crime. One woman wasn’t aware that the body of the last victim of H.H. Holmes (The Devil in the White City) had been hidden in her house’s chimney until a ghost tour passed by and she overheard the story. Another commenter toured a home in the U.S. that had been the scene of two separate murders. Her mother ran out of the house shortly after the tour began, saying that the house didn’t want her there. There were lots of very creepy tales about apartments with sinister vibes and ominous backstories.
I should point out here that I don’t *really* believe in ghosts. I often let my imagination run away with me, particularly when I’ve watched a scary movie and I’m home alone. My sister and I once made the mistake of bringing a book of ghost stories with us on an interior camping trip to Killarney Provincial Park. It was so silly and badly written that we made fun of it the whole time we were reading it, that is, until the sun set and we were alone in our tent on an island with no other campers around. And even though Pete makes fun of me for being a scaredy-cat, I’m not alone. My sister and brother-in-law once had to go downstairs together to fetch the DVD of Paranormal Activity because they were both too scared to go alone.
But aside from moments like that, I try my best to think rationally, and I just can’t bring myself to believe in hauntings. And I thought I didn’t believe in houses with “bad vibes” or “bad energy,” until I lived in one.
When Pete and I were engaged, he got a new job and we ended up moving to a new town. We toured some rental homes and none were appropriate. One, in particular, has stuck with me. The owners had packed up and decided to tour the world and were renting only the bottom of their house. All of the rooms upstairs were closed and locked. That creeped me out. There was no way I was going to live in a house with several locked rooms and no idea what was behind those doors. Oh no. No no no. I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that that is a terrible idea.
When we found a reasonably priced century home that was a decent size on a lovely street, we went for it. It seemed bright and airy on the day we toured it. After we moved in, though, I started to feel uneasy there. It started to feel oppressive. I was working as a college instructor then, and didn’t always work regular hours. On mornings when Pete had to leave for work before me, I felt that I HAD to get out of that house when he left for work, even if I would be hours early for my own job. I dreaded coming home to that house. I remember when we would go away on weekends, I would feel terrible about having to go back to that house again, after being away.
Nothing strange happend while we lived there. It had creaks and groans like any 100-year-old house, but objects didn’t move around on their own and doors didn’t close unexpectedly. We didn’t hear any frightening noises coming from the creepy basement. But for some reason, I felt that the house didn’t want me there. It seems so silly as I write it out, but that is precisely how it felt.
I’ve been trying to find out about the house’s history. So far, I haven’t learned much. I don’t know what I’m expecting to find, but Pete did point out that the house had had a lot of tenants before us. There seemed to be a quick turnover there. And we do know that the people who bought the house after we moved out put it on the market again after less than a year.
I’m interested in your opinions on this sort of thing. Have you experienced something similar? Do you think that houses can harbour bad vibes? Or are we just projecting our own moods and feelings onto places?